A Dose of Laughter

Once upon a time, months before Covid happened, I watched Leap Year. I laughed and laughed. My youngest turned her head and said: Is it that funny? 🤔

I continued laughing. 🤪 It felt good to laugh. I cannot remember when was the last movie that I had such a hearty laugh. 😃 Rom-com is good for my soul – not horror. I do not get high from being horrified. 😱

In line with my interest to write about depression, I googled and found a medical research on ‘Laughter and Depression… (blah blah blah..) 🤣 Blah blah blah is because it sounds scientific and technical to my amateur ears.. “…Hypothesis of pathogenic and therapeutic correlation!” In my own two-cents worth of laymen’s terms: “Can laughter help improve depression?” or “Are laughter and depression related to each other medically?”

So what’s the verdict? Here’s an excerpt from the abstract of the study: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20380236)
it has been demonstrated that laughter is able to improve mood directly and to moderate negative consequences of stressful events on psychological well-being; in addition, it is possible that the stimulation of particular cerebral regions, involved in depression pathogenesis, and the normalisation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical system dysfunctions, both mediated by laughter, can Counteract Efficiently depressive symptoms;
finally, the favourable effects of laughter on social relationships and physical health may have a role in Influencing the Ability of depressed patients to Face the disease.


But this is on the physiological side – the mind and the body. Laughter is just one means to improve depression. What about the soul? Beyond the mental and physical state of feeling good and happy, how does one maintain his ‘spiritual’ health?

The Proverbs teach: A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. (17:22) The heart mentioned here is more than just the physical organ pumping blood around the body. The heart is the whole being of man – it is “the ruling centre of the whole person, the spring of all desires.” (web.mst.edu~rossh/bible_resources/bible_-_HEART-study.doc)

Paul taught the Philippians to rejoice always. But joy is not just a switch that we turn on and off easily. We need to rejoice In the Lord.

I pray that as a follower of Jesus, a child of the heavenly Father who loves me, I will learn to find joy in each circumstance that comes my way everyday.. and always and only in the Lord… by His grace and mercy alone.

Dancing Lessons in the Pandemic

I wrote this piece 8 years ago today. But its lessons apply today more than ever – even we can no longer dance together physically because of Covid. I learn anew what it means to dance with God in the pandemic.

This morning as I was dancing, many thoughts came to mind about living life and dancing:

1. As i kept my eyes on our instructor, I was able to follow each of his move and step no matter how fast or how new the move was…. same in life, as I keep my eyes on my instructor in life, I am able to follow and be attuned to his move and be in step with Him.

2. This familiarity is not built on a day of dancing nor even a few sessions each week; I started out as a newbie – learning the style and music the instructor gave us – which i have been joining for years now.. It also needs consistent and persistent regular practice dancing with him.. same with our Lord – to know Him – i need to be in constant communication with Him – reading His word and listening to Him in prayer and telling him all my cares and concerns..

3. And just when i think that I have enough sweating and panting, jumping and twisting, i realised that the instructor is just warming up – he is leading us into the climax of our dance sessions – the steps get more challenging – i feel like panting and out of breath.. but I had to keep on to go to the next level.. Same with God, just when i think i have hurdled a difficult lesson, he gives me more challenging ones to learn.. He is just warming up and I sometimes feel like i’m so out of breath.. but i need to keep on..

4. When it comes to my dance class, my classmates are as important as my instructor. Their enthusiasm inspire me. Those who dance better than I do – are my guide when the instructor takes his break or stops even for a moment. I look to them if i cant remember the next step.. I also try to emulate their movements, their energy level, their high spirit, even their sexy moves…They inspire me to give my best and my all. Same in my Christian journey, i look to my spiritual mentors and leaders – those who model the true Christian spirit of joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control. No Christian can survive life’s challenges alone. A piece of coal gets cold all by itself – it can only burn and produce heat when it is put in a heap of coal.

5. Classmates who are not as gifted in dancing, also have their lessons for me to learn.. I have a classmate who should be graded no. 1 for her good attitude and effort she puts into each session. What she lacks in coordination and kinesthetics intelligence, she more than makes up with her zeal and enthusiasm. This morning, she was going in the opposite direction as the rest of us. She even has the ability to laugh at herself. And all of us were just enjoying her moves in spite of it all. in a similar way, in the Christian faith, we have different level of maturity in the school of faith, but we all have something to learn from one another. It’s not about who was Christian the longest. It’s not about who knew more of theological stuff or about who serve and do more ministries than others. It’s about how we love God and live out our faith in the minute trivial routines of everyday living.

Sabbath Rest

We live in a hectic world – our lives filled with schedules, appointments, things to do, bucket list, checklist, lists unending… Are we ever at rest – whether body, mind or soul?

Today, in the pandemic world, many are forced to rest. Many are out of job, parties and social gatherings are discouraged, lockdowns and quarantines, travel restrictions… all these made people slow down and rest. Yet are we really resting? Physically, maybe but not mentally, emotionally because many are anxious and thinking how to survive Covid.

Deut 5:12-15
‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

Work is good and so is rest. God commanded His children to observe the sabbath. It is more than just one day of the week or not doing any work on this day. It is about setting aside a holy time to remember the Lord – the Lord who has done great things for us, the Lord leading us through life.

It is good to rest in the Lord, to take time to reflect and think of God’s goodness and faithfulness, to thank Him for His wonderful acts of grace and mercy in the daily details of our lives – things great or small. We need to rest our mind as much as we rest our body. To be still and know that He is God.

A restful and peaceful holy Sabbath to all!

How I Laughed when I wanna cry…

“Humor is a distraction.” says a friend. I agree. Why? Coz when I was upset, trying to stay away from further arguments with hubby, I’d watch rom-com. It’s cathartic to cry and/or laugh: to de-stress and let myself be distracted from the sad things in life.

Last week, hubby and I went on an afternoon ride (pasyal sa Luneta-along-Manila-Bay) to see the sunset. It’s our new normal Sundates: driving around the city to see the sites where we used to date as bf/gf, where we liked to go pre-COVID days. It’s time/cost efficient: no traffic, no shopping, no resto eating, just jollibee drive-thru (yumburger meal) for me. And so I took a piece of fries to put in my mouth.. 😂 right into my mask. 😆😆😆 It felt really good- to laugh at myself!

One time, I went to buy coffee capsules for hubby. I took out my PWD (person with disability) ID, the cashier asked: Mam, may authorization letter? (Do you have an authorization letter?)
Huh? Ako nga yan eh! (That’s me!)
Ah, d kasi mag-kamukha. (You look different from the pic.)
Pano mo alam, naka-mask nga ako? (How did you know with my mask on?)
Perhaps my brows looked different? Oh right, I realize now I did not wear glasses on my ID. 🤪 And so we all had a good laugh – me, the cashier and the sales assistant. We could not see each other’s smiles but we certainly heard our laughters.

Years ago, a day before I was due for surgery from my broken ankle, a friend sent me a video of the barkada (our high school gang) laughing so hard after a ride in the amusement park. Imagine middle-aged men having fun from a joyride! I asked him why they’re laughing – secret daw! 🙄😏 He’s the friend who said humor is a distraction.

A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22). Humor is indeed a distraction. It diverts our attention from the pain that we’re feeling.

And so let me share with you – one of my secrets: how I coped with depression in the pandemic: I had bonding with my friends (in groups or 1-on-1). We talked. We laughed and cried together. Confession: It’s me who cried. It felt so good to be able to cry in front of them, even more so 1-on-1 as I bared my soul to them.

Are you sad, my friend? Call a friend. Share the burden… share the sadness. God said: It’s not good for the man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). This is not just about marriage. This is true for all mankind. It is not OK to be not OK alone!

Here are related posts from my blog.. click and read my stories:
https://marlenelimgo.wordpress.com/2020/11/27/its-not-ok-that-im-not-ok/

https://marlenelimgo.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/how-i-cope-with-depression-in-the-pandemic/

Life is Beautiful

How are you today? That’s the usual greeting I get when I go into shops here down under. It’s a good public relations strategy to greet customers this way. It shows that you notice their presence. Tourism is built on the principle of presence and value of presence.

One morning when I was in El Nido, Palawan, a couple from South Africa said: The Philippines is the best place in all of the vacations we had. How and why? Because of the hospitality of the Filipino people. The Filipinos are the most valuable asset of the country! Nowhere else in the world can u find a more hospitable people giving the kind of service that they give. Wow! What a compliment! Mabuhay ang Filipino!

I had the same thought. These good-natured people with their warm smile and ready hands are God’s gift to the Philippines. We often complain of graft and corruption – what a hopeless situation we have in the government.

I wonder could it be that the nearer man is to nature and works of God, the better he behaves? They are happier with their simple lifestyle – riding on their bangkas, cruising around the seas, swimming with the fishes, with the sun shining on them and the wind blowing in their faces – how rich they are in God’s wondrous creations! Does it matter that their clothing’s are not the latest fashion or branded? A rubber slipper is just as comfortable. To be together with their families and friends from their barangays – to roam in the midst of nature – between mountains, riding on the waves, feeling the breezy sprays of the seawater on their faces, feasting on the green forests atop mountains and soft/cottony clouds amidst the blue skies… how much does it cost them? a few hours ride and few hundred pesos of the bangka rental to b shared by so many people or maybe even the bangka is free – they need to put gas in them.

When I was in Myanmar, I noticed that the Burmese people are courteous. They are sincere and warm in their effort to help the tourists. Their simple lifestyle of working with their hands is enough to live on. Their doors are without locks. When they go on vacation to other places, they leave their homes in the care of their neighbours. They do not need to lock up. The guides told us that it is quite safe to be a tourist in their country. A friend asked about their prisons. The guide said their prisons are for political prisoners. 😥

Back to the Filipinos… Each time I go to the provinces for vacation, it warms my heart to experience the Filipino hospitality. They smile their greeting. They are happy when you thank them or compliment their food. They even reply with thank you to your thank you. They offer ways and means to make your stay comfortable – even before you ask for them.

Whereas the American culture emphasises tipping and gratuity, the Filipino culture encourages the bayanihan spirit even in tipping. They suggest that all tokens of appreciation be given to a common fund to be shared by all.

Now why do I feel proud to be Filipino among these people? Why do I feel frustration and hopelessness with those in high places of power and wealth? And I am reminded of the Biblical wisdom that the love of money is the root of all evils. Godliness with contentment is great gain for we take nothing into the world and we take nothing when we leave this world.

Happy are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Poor in spirit means lowly and humble in heart – depending on the God of abundance to supply all their needs.

Poor in spirit is about contentment and gratitude for what is given and what one has. It is free from ambitious striving and greed – for position or power or achievements.

Happiness is to be close to nature and to be embraced by the God of nature – to rejoice in service of others… to enjoy the handiworks of God.. to smile in deep gratitude for the breath of life… Today let me remember to live truly and simply in peaceful contentment with a thankful heart for what God gives to me.

Manila Bay Sunset

The Good amidst the Sad

I used to perceive Ecclesiastes as a pessimistic outlook on life. I have not tried counting how many ‘meaningless’ or ‘chasing after the wind’ there are. Yet, this book imparts wisdom in looking at the hard realities of life and living wisely in the broken world.

Background: (taken from http://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Ecclesiastes.html

Author: The Book of Ecclesiastes does not directly identify its author. There are quite a few verses that imply Solomon wrote this book. There are some clues in the context that may suggest a different person wrote the book after Solomon’s death, possibly several hundred years later. Still, the conventional belief is that the author is indeed Solomon.

Date of Writing: Solomon’s reign as king of Israel lasted from around 970 B.C. to around 930 B.C. The Book of Ecclesiastes was likely written towards the end of his reign, approximately 935 B.C.

Purpose of Writing: Ecclesiastes is a book of perspective. The narrative of “the Preacher” (KJV), or “the Teacher” (NIV) reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking happiness in worldly things. This book gives Christians a chance to see the world through the eyes of a person who, though very wise, is trying to find meaning in temporary, human things. Most every form of worldly pleasure is explored by the Preacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning.

Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:2 enumerates the sad realities in life.

8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.

~ The rich oppressed the poor.

10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.


~ The human heart is a bottomless pit. Greed is meaningless… ironical reality… the poor thinks if only I have just a tiny weeny part of what he has, I would be very happy. The rich thinks if only I could have more…

11 As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
except to feast their eyes on them?

~ There is a limit to man’s enjoyment of material things. Simple illustration: eating buffet. Whenever I had buffet breakfast; I had the choice to go to the bigger place with more options/choices of food. But for a person who sometimes eats just a banana for breakfast, what good is all the choices or more options except than to feast my eyes on them?!

12 The sleep of a labourer is sweet,
whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
permits them no sleep.


Money does not buy good sleep. So true… for an insomniac, sleep is sweet indeed. How ironical that beggars and street people sleep so soundly on the sidewalk with all the noise and heat of the sun while people in their comfy bed and air con rooms, toss and turn wishing for the sleep that eludes them – sometimes no matter how sleeping pills they popped!

13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:
wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14 or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
there is nothing left for them to inherit.


~ There is no security in wealth. How sad indeed.. to work all your life hoarding and storing only to lose what you worked for in an instance! What you have today can be gone tomorrow.

Consolation?…
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands.


Reality of life: we came into the world in our birthday suit. We leave this world with our hands empty.

16 This too is a grievous evil:As everyone comes, so they depart,
and what do they gain,
since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.


~ There is nothing man can take with him after he dies – no matter how hard he works – not even at great costs of unhappiness.

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Do you like to eat good food? I certainly do. Do you like buying good stuffs – handy useful things or beautiful clothes to make you look good? I do too. Do you like watching good movies? So do I. How about having a chat with an intimate friend to share stories, burdens, joys, etc? It makes you feel good, doesn’t it? I know coz I enjoy all these things.

Is it hedonistic to want to enjoy the good life? To be hedonistic is to be engaged in the pursuit of pleasure or to be sensually self-indulgent. So am I being hedonistic? Sounds negative, right? Hedonistic sounds worldly and carnal – belonging to the material world… not spiritual.

So here’s the caveat… A caveat is a provision or exception or warning of specific stipulations or conditions or limitations against the general application of a principle.

The caveat: It is hedonistic to be engaged in the pursuit of pleasure – to be self-indulgent without God in the picture.

The author of Ecclesiastes again and again pointed the vanity of being rich and wise and working hard because in the end, everyone dies. In death, no one takes anything with him to the grave. Yet in all the vanities (useless pursuit – all for nothing), the teacher found something good: It is good and fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment under the following conditions:

v.18
1) in the fruit of our labor -the fruit of working with our hands
2) in the few days of life that we all have
3) that God is the giver of life
v.19
4) that God is the giver of wealth and possessions
5) that God enables us to enjoy good things in life
6) that we accept our lot (what is ours) and we enjoy from the fruit of our work as Gift of God.

It is not a sin to enjoy life. It is not bad to be rich and have the material resources to live a comfortable life. It is good to enjoy the good life that God gives me – knowing that God alone is the giver of life; He enables me to work and enjoy the fruit of my labor. Every good gift is from God – how else and what else to do except to accept and receive and enjoy with gratitude!

A good perspective on life is to enjoy the good things one has knowing the God behind all of the good things in life. How meaningless is life – a chasing after the wind without knowing God – the giver of life!

Go and enjoy today, my friend! Today is a present from God – another opportunity to choose joy and give thanks.

A mom’s travelogue: Food for body, mind and soul

A year ago today, I went on a trip with my youngest to UK. This journal came up today on my FB memories. What a different time it is now the world is facing today… tourism and travel all at a near stand-still. It is good to look back and reminisce the good times. It is even better to be thankful and remember the moments of grace – to hold more precious blessings of God everyday.

Mimi and I have been eating many meals these past days, most of them western food. Fish n chips, Italian food, seafood and thanks to my dear friend, godmother of Mimi for home-cooked Chinese dish and rice!

Isle of Skye seafood most fresh and their steamed mussels so sweet.. yum! The raw oysters at Avenue in London are great and at reasonable price too. The Scottish calamari (with Vietnamese dip) at Howie’s in Edinburgh is just right in size n taste. The fish n chips in Broughton is very good.

Last night we had dinner on a ship.. sounds nice huh but uhh the experience was not. Waited a long time for 2 dishes to come and the food was not worth the wait and the price. Quite disappointing. Still another learning experience..

In Uk tipping is optional but added onto the bill. I asked my friend how to tip. She said give only when you are satisfied with the service. When the bill came last night, I encircled the amount without the gratuity. Food no good n service neither.

The most value for money and yummy meal for me is the Korean dinner at Lime Orange. Mimi was so satisfied and liked it so much, she put more tip than what was on the bill. The meal was the cheapest we had that’s most satisfying/filling. (So much rice.. lol! Mimi misses rice.. me too a little 😜)

Last night after dinner at the ship, I wanted to go lime orange again for part 2. Long queue full house. Went in to inquire about booking for today, nope, they’re not open on Sundays, asked about delivery.. was told to order online with Deliveroo. Alas, hotel not a valid delivery address. Looked at in room menu .. not exciting.. hehe Thankful I went to bed not hungry.. didn’t stay late long enough to be hungry.. 🙂

Food is not free. Many are going hungry in the world today. Even with money, sometimes it’s not easy to find food when restaurants are full especially during peak season. We experienced this on our first night at Isle of Skye. It was rainy wet n cold. All eating places were packed. Thank God we eventually found a place but needed to wait awhile.

Back home, we often make balot (doggy bag, take home) leftovers after meals. Here what to do? Take out to give to the homeless on the streets: once to a lady and another to an old war veteran.

It’s good to be prudent with God’s gifts and not let them go to waste. Always think of ways to be good stewards of God given resources. So with shopping n buying things.. Mimi has been prudent and has self-control .. She thinks hard and often observed that stuffs are pricey. She buys more for others than for herself. It’s not just reverse psychology but I had to encourage her to buy 😉 (if she reallly likes it).

I’m thankful that although we have the resources, she spends wisely. This trip is her graduation gift. She got a merit scholarship for college (free tuition with book and stipend allowance). Hubby n I let her plan the itinerary with some support from us and her elder sisters. She’s just 16 going on 17. Not experienced in many ways. Yet it was a learning experience for both of us.

For her: How to book hotels, shows and restaurants. Whether to pay in cash or card.. where to go first and the route to take that’s most efficient in time and money.. She printed out all the bookings, organized n clipped together in order for easy access. She studied the names of stations n which lines to take in the underground. She’s my guide. She’s patient even when I kept forgetting which lines go where and what stations to get off.

For me: how to be patient, to listen to her suggestions, to let go and let her learn even from mistakes, to balance between holding too tight or too controlling and too loose without teaching or guiding her what to do or be firm that she stops looking at her phone to eat or talk with me. I have to walk my talk too. Put away my phone when it’s time to eat.

Overall I’m thankful for this experience: to be with my teen before she goes into the big world of college education, and got too busy to be mama’s girl.

Each day each moment is precious opportunity to make memories. We never know when or if such opportunities will come again. We need to grab the time and seize the day! Live a life worthy of God’s call for us as followers of Jesus. Thankful & joyful. GRACEful n MERCIful! WORSHIPful always!

Same lessons apply today – seize the day and decide to be thankful that I am still alive and healthy, able to share God’s goodness in my life.

Travel Light

Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Where are you going to, do you know?
Do you get what you’re hoping for?
When you look behind you there’s no open door.
What are you hoping for, do you know?

People rushing in all directions.. in suits, in jeans, with suitcases, with child, deep in thought, talking on the phone…

This is the scene at train stations, in airport terminals, bus terminals, shipping ports n docks.

Where are the people going? What are they thinking? Who are they meeting? How are they feeling? When will they arrive? Why there n not here? Why today n not tomorrow?
Heavy luggage or light? Big bag or small? What’s in the bag? Why bring them? Are they bringing it back or giving it away?

Travel light.. in life or on vacation, it is wise to travel light. Why?

The journey is faster if the burden is lighter. It is easier to go up or down the stairs when your luggage is smaller. Luggage with wheels better in plain smooth path than rough uneven roads.
In life, travel light. Bring the essentials only. I discover that sometimes many things I brought along are excess baggage. I discover that they take up space for what I need more or they just plainly add weight to what I carry.

Leave your cares behind, regrets, anger, bitterness, disappointments, frustration.. they are excess baggage that you have to pay heavily in your travel .. the more kilos, the more fees. People with heavy baggage are weighed down by the past. They missed the present n worry about the future.

Today is another new day. What heavy load am I dragging with me? Time to leave them behind. What is preventing me from travelling light? Bitterness? Unforgiving spirit? Regrets? Are these essentials for going forward? What good is it to bring along the what-could-have-beens or the if-onlys? Can this turn back the clock and make things better?

What to do instead? Unload… discard the non-essentials… throw away the negatives… pack only the essentials. Move forward in faith, hope and love. Only these 3 last. And the greatest of these is love.

Love covers a multitude of wrongs. Love bears all things. Love is patient and kind. Today let me bring along love in my journey… Love God and love my neighbour.

Dancing in Life

Yesterday after our last dance class for the year, my classmates and I went out and celebrate. Our dance instructor had us danced 21 pieces – like our finals for 2019… selection of pieces we learned throughout the year. I love it!
 
Some thoughts I had while dancing:
1) The more familiar I am with the piece, the more I enjoy the dance. So with problems in life, the more practice I have learning the lessons and remembering them in the finals, the more I can enjoy God’s dance numbers for me.
 
2) When the teacher takes a break in the middle of the dance, I turn my eyes to the honour student in our class. She keeps me company and I know I’m not alone in the dance. She keeps me from faltering in case I forget the next step in the number. It’s like an open-book exams.. I have resources to help me pass the test. When problems come my way, I look to my friends who are mature in the faith – my cloud of witnesses who walked before me, I focus my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith so I don’t grow weary and give up dancing.
 
3) Keep dancing as long as there’s music. We keep living out our faith till Jesus returns. Even when out of breath, even when you feel like giving up, just take a deeper breath – open your mouth – suck in more air – that’s why it’s called aerobics… Each step counts. It’s exhilarating… the adrenalin keeps me dancing. Somehow because I’m familiar with the music, because my teacher taught me well, because I had practice, I’m fit and equipped to finish the dance. I know when the music is about to end – there’s joy in the final step that ends the dance – a job well done – oo thaw oo beh – as my mom would say – There’s a beginning and there’s an end. Not 半途而废 (stopping in the middle of the journey – no unfinished race).
 
2019 is about to end… I’m thankful for friends and family who are with me in each step of each dance.
Life is not a bed of roses – and so much more than just a dance… there are missteps, there are falls.. starting on the wrong foot, or even completely out of sync with the music.
images-1-1.jpeg
 
But God gives second chances – again and again. In most moves, there are at least 2-4 repetitions. If I didn’t get it right the first time, I can do better in the next 3 tries. If I didn’t get this move, I can make up and catch up in the next one. Thank you, Lord for the gift of life – each day is another opportunity to dance better and be a better follower of Jesus till He returns.
 
Looking forward to the next dance God has for me..
 
Cheers, my friend! Happy dancing, eating and merry-making.. time to celebrate the gift of our Lord and Saviour Jesus – Son of God who became Son of man so we might have peace on earth and goodwill towards man!
images (2)

The Happy Homemaker 101

As a mom and wife, I often have many things on my plate: so much to do for the home – for the husband, for the children and if one lives with the extended family, parents-in-law. There are even times, a housewife needs to do things for the helpers and drivers at home (e.g. buy them food, record their loans, dispense their salaries and bring them to the doctors when they are sick etc.)

It’s amazing how mothers/grandmothers of the previous generations can have so many children beyond 5 or 10 without any yaya or tutor and the children they raise all grew up to be good and achieving adults.

So how does a woman of the home cope with doing all things to make the house a home for her family? And if she happens to be working as well, it’s like being a super woman, isn’t it?

I learn that in order for me to keep running and operating smoothly as wife, mom, daughter-in-law and daughter, ate to my helpers and mam to my drivers, I need to fill up my gas tank – fill and refill even.

Analogy to the airline safety tips: Put on your own seatbelt and wear your oxygen mask first before helping others.

My dear fellow homemakers: do not be a martyr. Love yourself so you can love your neighbours. 🙂 That’s a little deviation from the 2nd great commandment but still valid and practical. How to love yourself:

1) Take time out for yourself – do the things you like to do. Things that will make you feel happy and rested.

2) Delegate – let your children help you do the things they can do to keep the home a happy place to live in. Manage your helpers that they do not stay idle – because idleness makes them lazy in the long run.

3) Eat good food – same as what you give your family. Do not be like the old generation who eat what’s leftover (although sometimes I do that coz ‘sayang’ eh. Don’t want to waste food.)

4) Exercise – endorphine is key to being happy and you get lots of it when you run, or swim or dance or even just plain walking in the mall.

5) Have friends to talk to – go out with good friends to de-stress – even if just chatting online or over the phone is a big help to release the tension and stress in the hectic life.

6) Learn to enjoy solitude as well – take time to be alone even if it needs to be at night when all are asleep. I go watch movies by myself – even drama – to cry myself out to de-stress or laugh by myself – kahit corny chick flick – Tagalog movies.

7) Most of all – have spiritual nourishment everyday – reading God’s word. Talk to the One above – who will never judge you, gossip about you, get tired of listening to you over and over again. And learn to listen to Him in the process – because the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and with us so that the peace that is beyond human understanding is ours – it’s a promise!

Try it and just do it!