Friday, June 29, 2012

The Vow

It's June and before this month ends, I want to blog about the first thing that comes to mind whenever this time of the year arrives: WEDDINGS! According to Wikipedia “June is known for the large number of marriages that occur over the course of the month. According to one etymology, June is named after Juno (Hera). Juno was the goddess of marriage and a married couple's household, so some consider it good luck to be married in this month.” However, as a Christian, I don’t believe in neither good nor bad luck hence we didn’t plan to get married on June but on December. In between my two most favorite times of the year: Christmas and New Year! (: But I hope you don’t get me wrong. The reason also why lots of people tie their knots on June may be because of reasons like having good, warm, sunny weather (summer in America), and beautiful flowers aplenty and in full bloom this season.

Anyway, today is exactly 6 months after our wedding! People say that the wedding day is a blur which for me isn’t true. I can still remember everything that happened from the very first second I woke up alone in my hotel room till the time I checked in with my husband to our honeymoon suite. But the most memorable of all for me was when we exchanged our wedding vows. Luckily, aside from the traditional vows, our priest who is a family friend of my husband, allowed us to write our own vows to each other. And to me, giving a personal touch to our vows is what made our wedding extra special.

Let me share with you our personal vows we made in front of God, our most dearest family and friends, and to one another.


I, Joselle, choose you, Alan to be my husband.

I prayed that God would lead me to his choice,
And I praise him because I am confident that today, His will is being fulfilled.
I knew I love you right from the beginning.
I never met someone so wonderful.
I've never been more accepted and celebrated for who I am by you.
As we start this journey of my life together,
I promise to love you more each day, even in the hardest and worst of times.
I promise to stand by you through life's challenges and choices.
I promise to be the strength you need when you're weak,
The blanket when you're cold, and the calm in the storm.
I promise to you my deepest commitment in love, my fullest respect, and my tenderest care.
I promise to celebrate our life together and enjoy every second I'm blessed to have with you.
I promise not to take our love for granted and to freely give you all that I have.
As I give you my hand to hold, I give you my life to keep. 
I love you!


Joselle, you are God's gift to me, my soul mate, my best friend, my angel. 
I fell in love with you before I could even realize it.
When we were neighbors, I thought of you as family.
And I was too timid and shy to show my feelings for you.

When you migrated to the US, the thought of losing you was too great for me to bear. 

I realized that I wanted you to become a bigger part of my life.

I remember getting a fever for a whole week after I confessed my love to you. 

Our long distance relationship seemed like a very long time. 
But we survived it.

I feel so grateful that you have patiently waited for this day.

I love you and thank you so much for choosing me as your husband.

I promise to care for you more and more, to be open to you at all times,

to cherish you as you are now and as we grow old together.

I promise to love you unconditionally, everyday and forever. 

I, Alan, take you, Joselle, to be my wife.

I’ve read our vows more than a couple of times but nevertheless, my heart still melts every time I read it. Our vows should be an everyday reminder to us of how we are to treat each other every single day of our lives. (I’m even thinking of putting up our vows in a frame of our bedroom wall. Haha.) There is not a single excuse on why our relationship is not going to work out because the words came out personally from our own thoughts and words. Whenever we get into a fight or argument (which is once in a blue moon, thank God), I pause for a moment and remember my vow to him and to God which helps me get over my emotional behavior. The moment that we decided to let God control our relationship, through the sanctity of holy matrimony, we agreed that there's no option for a detour. There's only one path we're going to take, however rocky and rough, and that's the path of growing old together and loving each other unconditionally.

I've once heard that LOVE is a decision. Once you have decided to fall in love, you have to make it work, there's no other alternative. That's why before Alan and I made the biggest decision of your lives, we had to be utterly sure of what we're signing up for. And how did the both of us get so sure of each other? That's a different story. Will blog about that soon!



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Ate Joyce!

Today's post is dedicated to my Ate (older sister) because it's her birthday! 

My ate is only a year older than I am. We have two younger sisters which were born consecutively after 6 years when I was conceived. So when we were younger, there was a time when it was just my ate and I. For 6 years, we were the best of playmates. We spent an active, memorable, and fun childhood. After school and our home works, we would play outside together with our friends. We rode our bicycles, play langit-lupa, piko, step no-step yes, tagutagoan, ice-ice baby, football, pepsi-seven up, agawan base, jackstones, marco polo, Barbie, chipy-chipy gum, pog cards, luksong tinik, luksong baka, Chinese garter and other Filipino street games. I also remember times when our mom would allow us to go out in the rain and just soak ourselves up. I don't know why we had gotten so fond of that. Haha. Sometimes, we collect gumamelas in the neighborhood and make bubbles out of those flowers with dish washing soap. Also, there would be times that my ate and I would pick Aratiris fruit from the trees and eat them. On Christmas season, we would sing christmas carols from house to house with our friends and the neighbors would give us money or treats. I think my mom allowed us to actively play outside because she knew that we would watch over and take care of one another. If we're inside the house, we would entertain ourselves in playing that we're working in a bank or acting like we're teachers. We would also make ourselves a tent made out of a bed sheet and play bahay-bahayan. We grew up with not so many resources so we are lucky to be blessed with creative minds. Somehow we were contented with the toys we had and importantly, as little girls, we were happy as long as we had one Barbie each(: I had princess Ariel and she had princess Jasmine. We didn't get to have gadgets or any hi tech gaming devices but the time we spent playing intimately with each other was incomparable.

When we both entered school together, our parents would enroll us to same school, of course. Being in the same school with her challenged me to be a better student and she definitely inspired me in a lot of ways. My ate is very smart and active in class in fact she even joined the student council. In school plays, she was always the director and her class would win most of the time. As her sister, I was so proud of all her achievements. And up until now (:

Next to my mom and my grandma, she's the strongest woman in my life. When we were blessed to have an opportunity to experience greener pasture in life, in other words, migrate to the US, it broke our hearts that she wasn't able to come with us for some reason. We've never been away from each other until that day came. But not a single tear came out from her eyes on that day we said our goodbyes at the airport. That's how strong she is. She's not as cheesy as me I guess. hehe. She's living for 4 years now with our aunt and uncle so I know she's definitely in good hands.

In her career, we cannot be more prouder of her. She's travelled across the country through her job. And happy to know that she's enjoying her craft and she's able to give back generously to others through her job as well. And most important of all, we are definitely glad that she's discovering her own journey with her faith in God.

Is there something I missed? Love life perhaps? hehe. Personally, I am happy and very supportive of her and her boyfriend. I feel that they're meant for each other. I don't want to jinx this so I'll just stop right here. hehe. But if I may give a piece of advice speaking as a married woman, just keep your relationship centered with the Lord and everything will go as fine.

So to end this post, I just want to wish you Ate a happy and meaningful birthday! I may not say this to you as often, I want you to know how much I love you! I wish you all the best in life and we pray that God will bless you abundantly in granting the desires of your heart. Keep up the good work!

We miss you!!!

before and after
at Punta Fuego 2012



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Be bold!

Five years ago, I attended a Christian seminar for single ladies and gentlemen called “Pathways”. It was facilitated by a covenanted community called Ligaya ng Panginoon. One of the things I learned from there (and glad to have kept in my daily routine till this day) was committing myself to a daily prayer time. My prayer time would consist of reading today’s scripture, meditation (clearer explanation of the scripture) and my personal conversation with God. This helps me to have a deeper relationship and connection with Him. It helps me too to live according to His will and guides me to every decision I make. As much as it is helpful to me, it is helpful too when you share what you’ve learned to other people, especially people outside of your church or your comfort zone. This is called “evangelization”. I never thought I could evangelize myself. If you know me well, I am actually timid, soft spoken, and sometimes I don’t know how to put my thoughts well into words, especially verbally and much worst, in English. Hahaha. Although I know it’s not impossible but of course there are fear of rejection and the thought that people might think I’m a weirdo or a freak. Anyway, the reason why I’m blogging about this was I had a fine lunch today with my coworker. She is having a tough time with her family and she shared with me very sensitive issues (of course I would leave that part between her and myself only). By the way, around the office, most of the time I would only hear people uttering about if not about business matters, it would be gossip. So I just felt honored that this person trusts me to hear out some of her problems. And I thought that God wanted me to say something to her through me. I was thinking if I should be bold to share with her the word of God cos I honestly don’t know what her views and beliefs are but at that time I just felt I had to. Thankfully I remembered what the scripture of the day was and it’s about this:

Matthew 5:43-48:

43 "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Amazingly, the scripture was actually related to what she was going through. And then she thanked me and said she really needed to hear something positive. She even asked what church do I go to and she’s thinking of going back to church. After that, a feeling of genuine happiness kicked in knowing that I’ve been used by Him to comfort someone. I realized that if everyone tries to be compassionate, sympathetic, and uplifting with each other, the world would be so much better.

Let’s plant scriptures in our hearts, harvest them and share it to others. Do not be afraid! Do not be selfish! As the bible quotes, “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”. -Mark 16:15

Also we must act what we preach. Never claim that we read the scriptures but then act otherwise. No one would believe and we would be judged as hypocrites. Let's set an example of how to be a good Christian so that people would see Christ in us. 

Even blogging or posting testimonies of your faith in Facebook is somehow a form of evangelization. Thus I hope that I glorify my God through this.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

I am going to share you all one of my life’s chapter even though I’m a bit scared about, I hope it’s going to be of help to some who shares my pain. Well, it’s not painful to me right now as I am happy how my life and my character turned out. Without further ado, let me begin my life story.

I am a product of a broken family. It’s so unfortunate how my parents’ marriage didn’t work out for some reason. I am not going to go into details why it didn’t work as it is their marriage and not mine. Anyway, before the two of them parted ways, I kept a lot of good memories that my father and I shared. I was only 10 when we lost touch so a decade is such a long story but let me cut it down and share you some of the most memorable ones. My father is a good singer and he plays the guitar well too. He was born a musician. When people ask me where I got my voice from, I would say it’s from my papa. I remember when I was in 2nd grade, I bravely joined a singing contest at school and he was my voice coach. And guess what, I won 2nd place. It was a joy looking at him when I handed him over my trophy. He also taught me physical activities like biking and swimming. I think I got my athletic side from him. I vividly remember when he taught me how to ride a bike. He was at the back holding my seat when he decided to take out the 2 little tire support. I thought he was there while as I was peddling my way through but I didn’t realize he had let go of me. When I turned at my back and saw no one’s behind me and I’m doing it all by myself, a big smile painted my face. You know when you’re 7 years old, that could be the biggest moment in your life ever. I also remember on New Year’s, he would improvise a long stick and put a clip or sipit at the end of it. We clip the watusi or lusis (kid friendly fireworks) and light it. He allowed us to have some fun but kept us safe. My mom told me how resourceful my dad was improvising toys for himself when his family couldn’t afford to buy him one. Moving on, he also brought some pets at home, a dog and two chicks (sisiw) one for me and one for ate (older sister). That gave us some sense of responsibility while we enjoyed them. Also, he drops me to and off for school and I was excited about telling him how my day went.

My childhood wouldn’t be as fun without my father.  He might not be a good husband but he tried to be a good dad. There was never a time he hurt us physically. Usually it’s the mom who makes palo(spank). Hahaha. His style of disciplining kids was different but we were more terrified of him than our mom when we know we got in trouble.

Fast forward, 11 years after, my father, my mother and my sisters got the chance to meet up again cos we learned that his mother (our lola) died. The day that she died, I saw a butterfly sitting in my bed, then few minutes after we found out about her passing away. Ofcourse, after not seeing each other for so long, there would be awkwardness. But hey, awkwardness is better than bitterness (: Although we didn’t connect right away, I still embraced him warmly and gave him due respect.

Bottom line is, let’s try to be positive rather negative. Look more on the good things than the bad. I know it’s easier said than done but this is possible with a daily relationship with God. Yes bad things happen in our lives, however painful,  it serves a purpose and a lesson. You can never undo the past but we can get back our feet and create a better future. Planting bitterness, hatred or grudges will not do any good in fact it might turn you to a rebellious kind and become the person you dislike. Let go of these and ask God for healing and He will help you mend your heart. He will help you understand and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If it wasn’t for my father, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have met my wonderful husband. And that’s the reason why after everything that happened, I still chose my father to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day.

I’m also thankful for our Heavenly Father, who makes all things possible –Mt.19:26

Happy Father’s day Papa. I wish you well in all things!


Monday, June 11, 2012

How to turn defeat into victory

What is your attitude when things don't seem to go your way? Do you cast bitterness, anger, frustration or hopelessness? It is really not easy losing something that we've worked hard for. It is hard accepting defeat especially if we think highly of ourselves. We also think of what the people around us would say thus leave us with feeling of shame and embarrassment.

I came to this realization after I watched Manny (Pacman) Pacquiao's very recent fight against Timothy Bradley. Our very own Manny lost the boxing fight surprisingly. Some people thought that victory should have gone to Pacman. I've seen Fb statuses of all his fans raging with disappointments and frustrations. I myself couldn't believe of his defeat. Was this yet another scripted, business propaganda match? I am not really sure.

Amazingly, Manny didn't show signs of hatred, injustice nor bitterness after the judges have shown their scores and after Bradley was declared the new title holder. Although maybe he knew at the back of his head that there was something wrong, he respected their decision. He still kept a smile on his face and congratulated Bradley. He even told everybody on his after fight interview, "I did my best, but I guess my best wasn't good enough", a line from his favorite song that he always sing in his tv appearances. That cracked me up a bit. In Proverbs 17:22, it says that "a cheerful heart is good medicine". Turning frustrations to a funny and humorous event is a good cure. And Pacman's sense of humor is maybe one of his secrets in overcoming downfall.

According to Rick Warren, in Romans 8:28, "In all things, God works for the good of those who love Him". There are many bad things in the world, but all things work together. God can even take the negative and turn it to a positive if we let Him. Use irritation as an opportunity to become more like Christ. We know that Pacman is known for having an active and strong spiritual life. He is not only a congressman(this I'm not happy about) but He uses his power to evangelize the word of God. And we know that the closer we are to God, the closer too is the devil's grip on us. This defeat I think is a big challenge to Manny on how he is going to walk the talk. And for me, he did a good job. Pacman's gracious acceptance of defeat is a great example of becoming like Christ. Christ might have been wrongly judged or persecuted by the people but for him, only God the Father knows the truth and for him, that's the only thing that matters.

It's amazing how we can learn something out of what we think is nothing. Even though sometimes we lose our battles, let's turn the negative into positive. Always think that, "you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You". -Isaiah 26:3


Friday, June 8, 2012

Why blog?

Why blog, if there's Facebook? I know there's a lot of social media already in this age and most popular right now is Fb. I remember my first social media back when I was in college, around mid2000's, was Friendster. The "grand daddy" of social networks most popular in Asia. I used to blog there as well but sadly, I have lost my Friendster account since I switched to Fb. I would love to see what I've written there during my teenage years and laugh on how immature I was back then. That'd be fun. And then there was also Multiply. My hubby and I used to have our joint private account and we had our own little world. Thank God for technology and our long distance relationship survived all through out those years. And now I've been with Fb for 4 years. Who knows, one day, Fb might just die or lose popularity for a rise of another social network, I know I'd have my own site still :)

Why blog, if you can write in a journal? I used to keep a diary when I was younger. My diary was probably only filled with encounters of my crushes and young love. You know that awkward stage. Hahaha. Anyway, my hubby gave me an iPad as a surprise birthday present last year. I love it and sometimes I would make use of it as a journal too. So if I can write my thoughts in my iPad, I can just keep it to myself right? Well, I believe some things are worth sharing to other people. Keeping a journal is a good thing that can benefit ourselves in a lot of ways. Some use it as a tool to vent out or to release everyday stress and some use writing for self improvement. I know some people who writes while meditating, after reading the bible. And that's amazing. Such a waste if they would only be kept to ourselves. I thought if i share some of my humble thoughts to the world, there might be some who would relate to what I'm going through and possibly, my blog could help. I hope :) I'm not a wanna be Rick Warren or Bo Sanchez (but these guys are my inspiration) but I thought God provided us with lots of tools on earth so we could use it in lots of positive ways and one is to inspire others.

Why blog, if you can just connect to the people directly? Well, whoever it was who invented the world wide web, I'm absolutely thankful to you! When you live abroad and miss some of the people you've left behind, all you have got to do is turn on your PC or phone and you're a click away. I thought if my hubby and I might not be able to connect to our dear friends and family on the other side of the world due to hectic schedules, we can just update y'all of our happenings in our lives through this blog :)

Why blog, when your English and grammar sucks! Lol. I am already expecting and geared for criticisms as early as now. I humbly admit that English is not my first language. But let me be clear, I'm so open to constructive criticisms. There is a saying that "practice makes perfect". There's also always room for improvement right? I just like writing and English was my favorite subject of all besides recess. Haha.

And lastly, what is the need to blog? This site is dedicated to my hubby. My hubby and I created a wedding site (wedsite) back when we were planning our wedding. He was so hands on in it and he loved it so much. And we thought why not make a site that'll continue what we've started. We think it's fun to look back and see how our love and relationship blossom as we age. Hoping we could inspire other couples too with our blog.

I hope you would be delighted to join me in my journey.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I am Joselle

I am Joselle and I am 25 years old. 

I am a wife. I recently got married to an amazing man on December of 2011 . As I log my thoughts to this blog as of this time, I live miles away from my hubby, which led me to writing and creating this web blog. I will explain further the reason behind that on my next entry.

Moving forward, I am a true blooded Filipina. Born and raised in the Philippines but now residing across the globe (US) for four years now with my family.

I am a typical 8-5 employee, working 5 days a week, off on weekends :) Luckily blessed to be still working in the same firm for almost four years now despite the tight economy.

I am a daughter of a super mom who raised 4 lovely girls.

I am a sister of those 3 lovely girls whom I share clothes with, borrow purses and other girly stuff from. Sounds fun right?

I am a loyal friend and sincerely keeps those people who are hard to find.

I am a shopper especially with a good eye on deals!

I am a traveler. I have this rush in jumping on planes or cars to see what other places has to offer. I do not miss to collect magnets from those places as souvenirs. 

I am born with a sweet tooth and loves everything chocolaty!

I am in love with one solely color since birth and that is PINK! It makes me happy and keeps me like a little girl at heart :)

I am not a professional writer obviously as you may notice in this post but a frustrated one :)

I can go on and on with so many descriptions of my self but there's only one thing I will leave last because it's simply special. If there's one thing I would tell about myself it is...

I am a Christian. I know I have been given a purpose in this world by God and we all are. And one purpose of this blog is to simply inspire other people in letting them know how God is graciously working in me. 

So to cap this post, I would like to say that words are truly not enough to describe ourselves. There's a popular saying that, "Actions speak louder than words". You may choose not to believe in everything I tell about myself but for me, there's also one virtue that I hold dearly at all times and that is honesty. 

You may also choose to follow my blog if this finds you helpful and inspired. If not, I understand and I pray you find yourselves something worth while.