Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Husband as a Leader

My prayer when I was searching for a suitable partner has been this, “Lord, please lead me to a man that will bring me towards You.” And I am so glad that God answered my prayer.

Now that I married a suitable partner, my prayer has been changed to: “Lord please empower my husband that he may continue to lead me and our marriage towards You.” And I thank Him for always answering my prayers.
One perfect example how God amazingly works in my husband was last Friday. Friday is a household meeting day in our community. We gather into small groups each Friday to learn God’s word or rather an important topic. So last week, my husband and I were asked if we can lead the discussion. Individually, my answer was sure, yeah why not, and then later informed my husband that he’s pretty much in-charge. Haha. As for me, I’ve done things like this so many times already in SFC but for my hubby, it’s his first time, however I urged him to take the plunge and go for it. I understand that in CFC, men should always be on top of women. Men are encouraged to step up and take leadership and wives to lovingly support their husbands. In the bible, you will see how it reveals to us that men should be the head of the household.

 "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. " 1 Corinthians 11:3

Men's role as leader of the household is vital in every Christian relationship. The role is not something for husbands to demand or wife to rebel against. It is also not something to argue about; it is a calling from God. Therefore, we must humbly obey.

Going back to my story, I was just surprised on how my husband took the responsibility of being the discussion leader. As I mentioned earlier, he has never done anything like this before in his entire life. He's a shy type and avoids the limelight. However, he grabbed the opportunity to speak as a man of God (on our prayer, he said that it’s an opportunity and didn’t think of it as an obligation) and really took it seriously. He studiously examined the materials, wrote down important notes, and prepared well for our talk. Hence, he delivered and did greatly on his first ever talk. I’m just so proud of my hubs!

As for me, as a wife, I believe my role was to encourage him and boost up his confidence in any way I can. Although I’ve hosted a discussion meeting a lot of times before and been with the community longer than him, I didn’t act as if I know better. I humbly took a step back but made him feel my full support. I joined him in every step and gave him my insights as well. I gave him room to grow spiritually and for him to acknowledge his role as head of the household. When I saw flaws on some things, I lovingly corrected and never intended destructive judgment. Had I badly criticized him, he might have felt like a failure and might have lost his interest in leading. In all things, remember to honor and appreciate all of our husbands’ works or deeds. Men do carry an inevitable role of being leader of the household so for us wives, let’s help in lightening up the load (:

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-23

In addition to him leading me to God, before retiring to bed, he would always initiate praying before we doze off to sleep. Even before we eat or go out of the house. When I sometimes do things not in accordance to God's will, he would lovingly correct me. I’m so happy that he never forgets to include God in our everyday lives and to leading me to holiness. I’m a blessed wife! (:


Preparing for household meeting at Starbucks
Nerd mode :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Life is a cycle

Yesterday, my husband and I decided to spend the entire day with an old lady so dear to us. She was ill and it was her 5th day at the hospital. We walked in at room 334 and a warm, wrinkled smile welcomed us.

She smiles every time she sees familiar faces.  However, every time she sees someone in scrubs or white coat, she cries "NO NO, NO injection please!" When it's time for her meal, she wants to make sure her guests have food too. And when they don't, she offers hers. For her, guests come first. I guess she thinks, she's lying at home and forgets she's the patient, she's the priority. When the room is full of friends and family, she wants to see everyone sitting comfortably. When there's not enough chairs, she will tell them to sit on her bedside. Sometimes she will even offer her entire bed to us or she'll tell us to book the room next to her if  we wish to stay for the night. Now she thinks she's in a hotel. How sweet and funny that dear old lady is. :)

That sweet and funny old lady is my 90 year-old Lola (grandmother). I am who I am because of her. I was raised by my mama the way she was raised by her mommy. And the way I take care of my Lola now, is the way I was taken care of by my mama. Life is a cycle indeed! Let me give an example of this realization I had the day I visited my Lola.

Since she was ill, she had a hard time moving by herself so when she wants to get out of bed to use the commode, I would help her. I would carry her, take off her diaper, take it back and carry her back to bed. When I found the diaper with a funky smell, I changed it and dressed her into a fresh one. When I was a baby, and not just me, but all of us for sure, when we were all little patooties back then training for potty, our moms were there to assist us. That's what I meant when I said that life is a cycle. When we all grow old, we somewhat return to becoming a child. We become vulnerable all over again. We all need and long for someone to take care of us. Someone dear and someone we love. 

If you think of babies, they cry when an unfamiliar person holds them, don't they? When someone other than their parents feed them, eating becomes unenjoyable. Children left in the day-care eagerly wait for the time their moms or dads pick them up. It is the same with our old folks. In the deepest part of their hearts, they feel happy and better when they are in the care of their kids. When they are unable to do stuff they used to do, they appreciate when we lend them a helping hand. When they are alone at home, they eagerly wait for us till we come home from work and feel grateful that we arrive home safe. 

We Filipinos have embedded a culture of taking care of our parents/grandparents till their last breath. That's one thing I am most proud of in us. Here, most (but not all) of the old people live in nursing homes or some live by themselves. They work hard and make sure they save enough for their retirement so they can live comfortably and sufficiently. I guess they just don't want to be a burden to their kids. I just think, are we more of a burden than a joy to our parents when we were little? An even worse thought is if there are people left forgotten by their families in nursing homes. It's like a child being left in daycare because their parents forgot to pick them up. What a heartbreaking nightmare! 

In my own opinion, I guess the reason why my 90 year old Lola survives each day is because of the love of her family and her strong faith in God. Sometimes, love is the only medicine. Love is more powerful than any advanced medical invention. The drive and desire to live longer roots from the joy or jubilance of wanting to be with loved ones and to enjoy God's gift of life to the fullest. 

I promise that as long as my Lola lives, I will be there for her. Let's not take for granted our parents and grandparents while they still live. Let's make them taste a little bit of heaven while they are still here on earth. I am sure they will be happy to see how the fruits of their labors has flourished.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." -Exodus 20:12


PS: My Lola is better and can go home today! Thank you for everyone who prayed for her and for the overwhelming love and wishes we received from all of you. God bless you!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Journey To The Golden State

I've been so busy lately I haven't had a chance to blog about my trip to California. As all of you may know, my hubby and I have been finally back together and we've still been catching up and filling in all the lost time. Consequently, I could hardly find time to write these days but I do believe if there's a will, there's always a way:)

Mr. and Mrs. Fernandez back together after 5 months!

Anyhow, the primary reason why I went to Los Angeles, CA was to attend the National Conference of Singles for Christ (SFC). This time I went not as an individual but with my hubby as proxy SFC couple coordinators to represent and guide our Georgia household (group). Each year, the entire congregation of SFC, single men and women, in the U.S. gather for 3 days to heed to exceptional talks from brilliant speakers, to sing and dance to worship songs and to meet and be inspired with other SFC's. It has been always great to go to this kind of conference and to see how God works through the hearts of young men and women. I was once an SFC and I couldn't be more proud and blessed to have been a part of it.    

soon-to-be Georgia SFC Couple Coordinators 
with Bro. Tat (GA Chapter head) Keith Rivera (SFC) and Mike (former GA SFC)

The conference was not only spirit-filled, it was fun as well! I'm so glad my hubby made it! We got to explore Cali together which was super nice. I am a happy wife again. Also, I got to see my dear old friends (former SFC's from Georgia) as well as meet new friends from other states. My facebook friend list is getting bigger. LOL. 

with bff Mike Bautista (former GA household head)
with bff Ate Beng (first GA household head)
with Benjie (SFC SoCal) 
with Allan Gonda (SFC SoCal)
SFC Georgia and New York

We had a party on Saturday night called "Roaring 20's". We travelled back to the 1920's and I dressed up as a flapper.  

After the conference, it was time to explore and enjoy California! Luckily, I got to take off 3 days from work. The first thing I looked for after the conference was Jollibee! I know it's funny but I just love Jollibee's Chickenjoy (mababaw ang kaligayahan). I also had it before we leave Atlanta. Hehe. I finally tried also the very popular In-N-Out Burger. One of my friends suggested that I try the Animal Style Burger and Fries, and to my surprise, I loved it. I am not a fan of burgers really, however, I can make an exception for In-N-Out. 

Jollibee ChickenJOY!

In-N-Out Animal Style

Then my friend Mike Bautista and Allan Gonda, brought us to Hollywood! Yay! 

... And to Santa Monica Beach! I love everything in Santa Monica. The beautiful sunset, the breeze, the street shows, the sand, the Pacific Ocean, the mini amusement park by the pier, the scenery, everything is picturesque! 

For dinner, we had korean barbeque at K-town! My favorite!

The next day, Alan and I visited his aunt and his cousins in Anaheim, an hour away from L.A. They live in a beautiful house with their dog, Colby! 

Tita Beng's home sweet home and Colby!

We became like kids again and went to Knott's Berry Farm, the very first theme park in America.

They took us to Downtown Disney and treated us to dinner at Rainforest Cafe. 

Simon, Tita Beng, Celine, and Alan

Dinner at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney

The following day, we went to Universal City Walk, had lunch at Chef's Wolfgang Puck's bistro, had coffee at Coffee Bean which I think is so much better than Starbucks, walked around, took pictures, and watched a movie (Bourne Legacy) at AMC because we got a free movie ticket from parking. Sweet!

Universal Studios Hollywood
Lunch at Wolfgang Puck Bistro
I love Coffee Bean!

For dinner, we met up with SFC New York and L.A. and had dinner at Ate Beng's fave Thai place in L.A., Sri Siam. We also had coffee and dessert afterwards at Cafe Mak in Korea town. The night was well spent in catching up, in great laughter, and in making good memories of friendship. Good times!

(Left to Right) Grace, Me, Ate Beng, Keith, Billy, Alan, Mike, and Paolo

All in all, SFC Conference, family, friends, good food, good weather, California,  just doesn't get any better than this! We absolutely had a great time. 

For next year, SFC conference will be in.......... LAS VEGAS! Hope to see you there! (: