Takeaways from Fusion Camp 2019

Life

A weekend my hubs & I will cherish forever, #FusionCamp2019 was truly one for the books! It was the first couples camp organised by Citichurch, lead by Pastors JP & Cielo Villegas with guest speakers Pastor Peter & Christine Kairuz. By God’s grace we, along with a bunch of couples, had a blast learning about God’s word & design in marriage & practical concerns while having lots of fun! We were able to recommit our vows & rekindled the good fight in our marriage for His purpose & glory. We learned a lot but out of everything, here are 7 takeaways that really stirred my heart.

1 | Wives & mothers set the thermostat at home

Thermostat is defined as a device that automatically regulates temperature. Is your home cool or hot? Let me rephrase that, is the MOOD of your home, cool or hot? I realised that the mood of our home has a lot to do with me, if you’re a wife or a mother reading this, this goes to you too! Wives & mothers, we fail to realise that we have SO much POWER into achieving a blissful, peaceful & vibrant home. I speak for myself, most of the time I tend to blame things around me or my husband but really, I have the ability to make things better. How? I set the temperature or mood when I respond gently, express my emotions at the right time, encourage, pray & when I don’t push my agenda into the situation. Which leads us to my second takeaway.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image & glory of God but woman is the glory of man. 1 Corinthians 11:7

The wife is the glory, honour & dignity of her husband -Peter & Christine Kairuz

 

2 | My relationship is more important than my agenda

Many maaaaaany times I look back on the arguments we’ve had, 99% were because of petty things & yet the damage we cause become immense. To be honest? I could not control my mouth just because I want my agenda to win. Any wives relate? As what our godparents, kuya JP & ate Cielo remind us, “if one wins, both lose”. The sooner we work on being in the same team, the sooner we’ll win! If you would allow me to remind you, darling, we are the thermostat of our home. Breathe in, breathe out, choose your battles & zip it! #notetoself haha! And should you want to air out, pray, let God fight your battles & here’s the next takeaway, sow anyway.

This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! James 3:7-10

 

3 | Sow anyway

Marriage is a process or journey of becoming one, naturally, there will be breaking because of a lot of reasons- differences in opinion & personality to name one. There will be days when you’ll be faced with matters that trigger anger, disappointment, hurt & so on… but you sow anyway. You do your part anyway. That is a marriage.

 

4 | You go through seasons in marriage

This be one of my favourite topics in camp because it gave us comfort & a better understanding where we are at right now, a glimpse of what to expect in the future & that a lot of us are in the same page. We are not alone. This made us appreciate more where we’re at. Allow me to share some of the notes that were shared to us.

Newlyweds / Spring

  • This is the season where both are in a “romantic high” where there’s heightened passion & euphoric sexual intimacy. Couples at this stage are inseparable!
  • There is emotional obsession wherein mistakes are not a big deal, there is maximum tolerance, extreme understanding & patience & sweetness is evident.
  • Depending on various factors, may last 1-3 years.

Married with children/ Summer

  • The illusion of perfection is gone & patience wears thin.
  • A lot more effort is required for dates & sexual intimacy.
  • Depending on various factors, may last up to 12-15 years.

Married with teens & young adults/ Autumn

  • No more illusions! You’ve passed through trials & weathered the storms. Your love was tested & it passed!
  • You’re more focused on stability especially that this is the time where you earn more but spend more.
  • You are careful when it comes to sexual intimacy in consideration of your teens because they could decode your “signals”
  • Depending on various factors, may last up to 10 years

Empty nest/ Winter

  • Everyone’s married or has moved out & this is the time you REDISCOVER yourselves.
  • You are enjoying the fruits of your labor!
  • You celebrate imperfections.
  • You have a lot of time for sexual intimacy but less energy.
  • Energy is rechanneled to grandchildren.
  • This stage continues until widowhood.

Widow/er Stage

  • Depending on age, this stage may end if widow/er remarries or it continues till death.
  • After a time of grieving, you rediscover yourself & you find a new hobby however, you miss your spouse.

Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:9

Cried during this discussion. Life presented this way made me realise how short living is & hear hear to what Ptr. Peter said, “Life is too short to be picking on your spouse”. Hubs & I are in summer & honestly, the transition is very challenging. But given this fresh perspective, I’m encouraged not just to fight but to fight gratefully & wisely. This also made me appreciate my husband all the more…

 

5 | Your spouse is God’s exclusive gift to you

Admittedly, with the change that’s been happening, I’ve allowed myself to be trapped in my own concerns which in effect, crippled me to FULLY appreciate, honour & respect my husband. This brought me to more tears during camp as I expressed how grateful I am to be gifted with a loving husband (as you can see in my Fusion Camp vlog). Despite everything we are going through, the truth remains- the truth that your spouse is God’s EXCLUSIVE GIFT, YOURS ALONE. Reflect on that for a moment & think of all the good things about your spouse. Count your blessings, hun! That’s the way to go to a happier life!

6 | Husbands are to be respected

Yes, wives need to be loved but I want to emphasise this part, husbands need to be respected. #RESPECT, that’s a big word for your man. Girl, just do your part! #anothernotetoself God’s got you. It’s God’s design for your man to be the head of the home, this is His commandment. He has given him wisdom which you will have to submit to. Submitting doesn’t make us less of a woman, it actually shows strength. I know, this may be very difficult for us wives at times but God sees your heart. Watch how He blesses you, your marriage & home as He acknowledges your obedience. Work on it!

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to 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. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:22-28

Admiration not only motivates, it also rewards the husband’s existing achievements. Dr. Willard F. Harley

A woman needs to appreciate her husband for what he already is, not for what he could become.” Dr. Willard F. Harley

In my submission to my husband I must realise that marriage is entering into a covenant relationship which means death to independent living. Peter & Christine Kairuz

 

7 | You forgive & honour your parents to break a generational curse

This hits me hard because I came from a broken family. Do the math. Although forgiveness is evident in our family by God’s grace, when this topic was discussed, I realised I had to ask forgiveness to God. To explain that, Ptr. Peter & Tita Christine elaborated through an example. When one says, “I will never be like my mother/father” or “I will never do what my mother/father did to me”. It may sound promising but what we don’t realise is that we are releasing a curse towards our parents & that affects us. How? It says in His word, ““HONOUR YOUR FATHER & MOTHER”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “SO THAT IT MAY GO WELL WITH YOU and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” I know in my heart I’ve said this so Reel & I lifted a prayer, asking for forgiveness.

Nothing in a relationship has to permanently destroy that relationship if forgiveness is in the picture… No failure is larger than grace. No hurt exists that love cannot heal. Dr. Henry Cloud/ Dr. John Townsend


 

Young Couple: How were you able to stay together all these years?

Old Couple: We lived in a generation where if something was broken, instead of giving up & throwing it away, WE FIX IT.

THIS IS A MARRIAGE.

You don’t quit, you fight. You fight for many reasons but most of all, you do it for God’s glory.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15


Can’t wait for the camp next year & we hope more couples can join!

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Utterly filled with gratitude, Ptr. Peter & Tita Christine for everything you’ve imparted, especially your time & testimony. God bless your marriage & ministry all the more! Ptrs. JP & Cielo, thank you for your leadership, especially, love. You don’t only lead us every month, you share your lives to us & are just a call away. How blessed are we to call you our godparents! To Ptr. Jo & Tita Sheilah grateful for setting a great example, fighting for couples through prayers & counselling & establishing the Fusion ministry. To every single one who made this camp a success, you know who you are, your labor in the Lord isn’t in vain!!!

Thank you, love, for being intentional & purposeful for our marriage to flourish. We have a long way to go but we are on the right track because of God’s grace. May God be glorified in our marriage. I love, honour & respect you.

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Father God, I am lost for words. We see what you did here. You’re a good good, Father. Glory to you alone!

Credits to Iko Villegas, Felmar Caranzo, Mika Kairuz & to my love, Reel Bontol for the videos & photos.

A Baby Shower to Remember x Tips on Planning a DIY Baby Shower

Motherhood

We just had our Baby Shower & I’d like to share a few tips on planning/ organising one.

But before sharing with you tips on planning a DIY Baby Shower, I would like to express the gratitude my husband & I have for making our Baby Shower one that’s to remember.


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We have been praying for our Baby Shower… since the beginning of our journey, we have seen God’s mighty hand move & our shower was no exception. I remember praying for God’s presence to be evident & that His glory would be made known through the celebration. I mean, those who know our story & my personal story would know why this was our prayer & why I am very passionate about marriage, family, parenting & motherhood. Sounds like a cliché or as what I’ve expressed during the shower, “being OA?”. I’m sorry, not sorry. This is simply the truth, God is gracious, loving, faithful & kind. So, I will boast about who He is & how he’s been moving in our lives. This was & is a big deal because EVERYTHING we were, are & will be experiencing, in this case a celebration of life, are all because of His Divine intervention, work & sovereignty.

 

I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have today.

Our Baby Shower, a day full of His love. We felt it deep. All love languages ticked.

 

First, ALL GLORY TO GOD. We thank the Lord for this great blessing. Having a baby was a dream & a prayer request. We specifically prayed to be pregnant after our 1st anniversary & that’s exactly what happened. A dream come true & an answered prayer!

 

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Prayer Warriors in Action

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

Next, I want to honour my husband & just express how great He has been during this journey. WE were both pregnant, if you know what I mean. Love, you have been nothing short of amazing!

 

Thank you to my dear sister, Gale, for organizing the baby shower, most of all, supporting us all the way, in any way.

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Grateful for everybody who helped out & made the shower, extra extra special.

Primrose- Styling & Giveaways

Check out Rose Letters Cebu on Facebook for your event styling, invitation graphic layout needs & more

Primrose

 Dee- Documentation & Photo Editing

Check out Cinderella Photography on Facebook for your photography needs

 Hannah– Invitation layout & Documentation

You may message Hannah Mariel Jabines on Facebook for your graphic layout & event documentation needs

Hannah & Dee

Lenie, for assisting

Carmina, for hosting

Jesse, for taking care of registration

And to EVERYBODY who came, made time, gave gifts & helped us with the baby essentials & even those who weren’t able to come but showed some LOVE in any way, sending gifts, messages & prayers during this season. FAMILY & FRIENDS, we will be forever GRATEFUL. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives, you’ll always be part of ours. We are truly humbled by the overwhelming support. WE SPEAK A BLESSING TO YOUR LIVES a gazillion folds, IN HIS NAME, as you’ve blessed us tremendously.

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Citichurch

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ALL BY HIS GRACE

Sharing with you some snippets of the Baby Shower

So, here it is!

Tips on Planning a DIY Baby Shower:

Set a Date & Time

First thing’s first! Set a date & time. Try answering the basic questions when planning a Baby Shower or any event for that matter-  WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW. First thing’s first- WHAT & WHEN. What? A Baby Shower, in this case. When? Baby Showers are usually done on the 7th month of the Mom’s pregnancy. Communicate with the Mom- to- be some time in the 6th month when would be the best time, so that you have ample time to prepare.

Finalize Guest List

Answer WHO. Who are the ones who have been part of your journey? To the Mom, do not feel obligated to invite everybody, just because… You would know who were the ones who’ve made an impact in your journey. And this principle I keep in mind- You do not need a title nor an invitation to care for people. There will be people who will care or have shown care despite not having a title in your life or an invitation to gatherings like these. It’s your choice to invite them or simply appreciate them some other way. The right people will always stay. Communicate with Mom- to- be on the guest list before inviting.

Have a Gift Registry

Having a Gift Registry makes it very convenient for the Parents to- be & the guests. This would ensure parents are able to use the items for their baby in a way they plan to use them. And it would be easy for guests to choose their gift because they’ve been already sorted out. The first time I joined a Baby Shower, I was so clueless of what a baby would need. Thankfully, the celebrant had a registry. Totally saved me! As the planner, you may ask for the registry details from the Mom- to- be.

Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme is OPTIONAL. Nowadays, this has become popular for parties. How you come up with the theme depends on you, mainly the gender of the child. Some plan to do a gender reveal on the shower so most of the time, a baby shower like this becomes an all white party. Here are some probable factors for you to be able to come up with a theme:

*Baby’s Name

*Season the Mom is due

*Place Baby was conceived

And so much more! Be creative. Don’t forget to consult with the Mom- to- be. But like I said, this is just optional. A simple & memorable gathering is more than enough.

Make an Invite

Once you’ve established, date, time, event & theme. You may start inviting. Fortunately, inviting people has become very convenient due to social media. You can choose to give out invitations &/ or simply make an event on facebook. Announce when, time & gift registry. You may also include an “attire” based on your theme. How about WHERE? I would suggest answering that once you get a headcount. It’s best to have planned a month before the date to give time for people to adjust their schedules & make a confirmation. Announce the details as well as a deadline when each could possibly confirm so that you can set the venue. While you’re waiting for everybody’s confirmation, you may do some ocular visits & make calls to inquire. However, if you choose to give out hard copies of the invitation, you might need to finalize venue already.

Baby Shower Invite

Layout by Hannah Mariel Jabines

Book the Venue & order Food ahead

So you’ve got the headcount, now’s the time you book the venue or you may pencil book in advance. Make sure venue is suitable for the shower, consider number of guests coming & food is appropriate for the shower.

Make a Program

Have about 2-3 games & consider time for eating, gift giving & messages. The whole duration of the shower should be about 2-3 hours only. If you have a lot of guests, lessen the games & give more time for messages because even if you say “keep it short”, it won’t be. I personally would rather give the guests time to say or share something than games. They deserve the time considering their support, efforts & love. But customize & personalize all you want, it’s your shower!

Make Registration something for keeps

This is another thing that’s optional. However, this would be something you could give as a remembrance of the milestone to the parents- to-be. So if you are able to stretch yourself in making this happen, it would be great!

Make updates at event page from time to time

Make or announce updates from time to time to make it interesting. Other than important details, you may post trivia’s, post maternity photos or make a countdown. Here were a few sample postings in our shower.

Delegate tasks

Make sure you delegate tasks especially on the day. After all, you get by with a little help from your friends! Here are some areas you might need delegation with- registration, documentation, host/ game master, styling, music, food & beverage & etc. Depending on the details/ ayour

Have Fun

Most of all, have fun in doing all of these things (considering that you’re close with the parents- to- be) knowing that you are blessed to be blessing the couple in their milestone.


 

Here’s hoping you have a memorable & meaningful baby shower! Hope this helps. Enjoy your journey!

Maternity Shoot x Pregnancy Diaries

Motherhood

 

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“Your story is not just your story. It is for others to learn and know. And one day you will share these experiences to others- mothers, single ladies and many more. I just feel that this season of yours is going to make you a better person for His glory. I sense the unfolding of greatness, the unveiling of His love and the showering of joy. The Lord is not done with you yet.”


This was my sister’s message in the middle of my 1st trimester. These words were the beginning of a realization for me & I truly thank God for people like my sister who continuously remind me that the life I live is His.

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This inspired me to share about what I experienced & felt during the first few months of my pregnancy. Which means the experiences & feelings each mother goes through  are different. I say “mother” because pregnancy is already part of “motherhood”, in fact, it is the beginning of it. If you’re somebody who’s expecting or who’s praying to have a baby, I hope this gives you an idea what happens during pregnancy & that you’ll be able to prepare for it.

Oh the joys of breaking the news that you’re pregnant! The day has finally come when your prayers have been answered, the future looks bright as you start pinning adorable baby outfits, maternity fashion, checking out lists of what you’ll need when the baby is out, thinking of booking a photographer for your maternity & baby shoot, planning for a baby shower & the list goes on. All of these are great & they’re a beautiful side to  pregnancy but the hard or challenging reality will get to you as pregnancy progresses. Mothers or every parent will agree that those mentioned are just tiny bits, parts or the sweet little things to motherhood or parenting.

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The first few weeks of my pregnancy were difficult. Although I hear some pregnancies are flawless, mine was one of the usual cases. Usually during the 1st trimester pregnant women experience morning sickness, excessive vomiting, swollen breasts, weird cravings at the same time distaste for some food while appetite increases, amplified urine movement, nausea, heartburn, acne breakouts, mood swings, skin discoloration, are more susceptible to illness & so much more. Some experience these for months & some even during the whole duration of the pregnancy. (If you’re a guy reading this & you’re expecting, take notes! You’re wife isn’t overreacting, these things happen!)

For me this meant, stopping work, ministry & all other activities I had in a snap! I remember my husband telling me one time that his head was aching because he wasn’t able to drink coffee, I tell him, “Just imagine how I feel?”. For a coffee lover who drinks about 3 cups a day & letting go of that in an instant, not to mention everything else my body goes through, the struggle was very real. And that’s just one. Being pregnant means sacrifice. This is just the beginning.


Shout out to EVERY MOM! You are beautiful, strong & truly Wonderwoman! I hear new moms say, “Dear Mom, I get you now”. I have only been given the starter if this was a full set course meal yet I feel you. And I just want to say THANK YOU. You are amazing!

During this time (1st trimester) we found out I had hemorrhage, which had me stay at home for a month & a half. I was usually in bed & these were the times I kept crying & I honestly tell my husband & myself “I’m tired already”. As if giving up was an option. Of course not! I often hear people say, “the baby is worth it” or “it will be worth it”. No doubt but for usual cases or even crucial cases wherein bed rest is a requirement for 9 months & the struggle is very real, I realized this… Like any other thing that we say is worth it, like marriage or whatever matters to you for the world & in this case, the baby… ________________ (whatever it is) is not enough reason to stay strong… Jesus will always be the answer, the reason. I don’t know how I’d reach this point without Jesus.

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Jesus… keeping me strong, giving me a hardworking & patient husband who was & is with me through the whole process, giving me family & friends who would communicate, encourage, visit, cook, bring food, pray with me & show any kind of support. Jesus made all of these things happen. And these things gave me so much comfort & joy during this phase.


If you’re one of those who did those things mentioned above, THANK YOU from the bottom of  my heart. You have no idea how much you’ve brought a great impact during my pregnancy. You know who you are. Your names will forever be carved in my heart.

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During the 2nd trimester, the hemorrhage healed. Answered prayer! This time, I am able to go out, however, because of everything else that comes with pregnancy; I had to stay at home more often. My husband & I had the mindset of, “it’s better to be safe than sorry”. Like I said, pregnant women are more susceptible to diseases. We don’t want to risk it. Also during this time, my appetite was waaaaay better, as what most would say, the 2nd trimester is the best time. Naturally, I gained weight & there’s no shame in that. Pregnant women have to gain for their baby’s health. So when people comment about how much you’ve gained, have the confidence that what goes on in your body is no joke & if that meant being chubby or fat even, you wouldn’t have it any other way for your baby’s sake. Giiiiiiirl, YOU’RE BODY IS THE TRUE WONDERLAND. Especially during this time when you’ll be able to feel the kicks, pokes & even turns! How amazing is your body, His creation.

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Pregnancy hormones kick in & I had times when I’d look to the future, would feel very emotional because the realities of motherhood or parenting would sink in. The beauty & the struggle in one scenario made me pray for God to give me a MOTHER’S HEART. An intentional loving mother who will be able to give what’s best for my child in the way GOD wants her (YES IT’S A GIRL) to be raised. Not just me but for my husband & I to be purposeful parents. As one of the mothers I know would put it, #MomOnaMission. Yes we are, yes I am. Being a parent has always been a prayer & a dream. And I do not take lightly the grace that’s been given to my husband & I. #ParentwithaPurpose. We have  this in mind, we are the keepers of the next generation, which are the world changers. A vessel for His glory to be made known in the generations to come.


We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, HIs power & the wonders He has done… so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, & they in turn would tell their children. Psalm 78:4 & 6

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Writing this as we enter the 3rd or last trimester. Physically, baby’s movements are really felt, the struggle of the weight is getting more challenging everyday, stretch marks are in & skin has been very itchy due to the continuous stretch. I also don’t mind, although I plan to let them go when baby is out. I don’t mind if this is the way my body is responding to the stretch to make room for the baby inside. These marks are beautiful marks. Truly there is growth in stretching. Very true in life. As baby grows & tummy stretches, it is not only the physical that’s doing all the action. Body, soul, mind, heart & spirit are being stretched & are grown, by His grace. And I’m really grateful for that.

This is it! Another season of experiencing Jesus. A few more weeks & we’ll be able to hold baby in our arms. Nothing but expectant hearts knowing He holds the future & that His promises are yes & amen.

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Last Christmas, our families went on a beach getaway at Club Serena, Moalboal. We took the chance to have our maternity shoot. And the 2nd setting was when we had our advance anniversary celebration at Kandaya Resort, Daanbantayan, since I am due on the same month as our wedding. By that time, baby would still be a few days or weeks old & we’re not certain we can go out to for a celebration. Nonetheless, reaching 2 years with a baby in our home would be the best gift, the best celebration yet. All glory to God. DIY photos by my dear hubby, sharing them as inspirations for your shoot too! Both locations are in Cebu, Philippines.


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Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

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Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. Proverbs 29:17

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These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deutoronomy 6:6-9

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 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

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Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

Having A Broken Family Doesn’t Mean A Broken Life For You

Lifestyle

A couple of weeks after getting married, I posted a gazillion of photos at my social media accounts & each photo had meaningful captions about how the dream of marriage started, a glimpse of the proposal, the preparation & the process of getting to the BIG DAY & the day itself, along with the people who were, are & will continue to be part of our journey.

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Every beautiful soul that were supporting us all the way & God’s masterpiece as our backdrop

And then, a person sends me this message…

… I don’t believe in marriage because I grew up from a broken family & there are a lot of playboys around. I remember, you came from a broken family. I just want to know how you turned out to be someone who believes in marriage.

 So here goes my answer.

Having a broken family doesn’t mean a broken life for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

MY IDENTITY IS IN CHRIST

I am a child of Christ more than anything else. I identify with Him. This has got a lot to do with knowing your Heavenly Father first. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I AM, the Prince of Peace, the one who died for you & me. And identifying yourself with Christ gives you the hope that’s like the sun that shines every morning, gives you joy that’s overflowing, peace that surpasses all understanding & love that’s everlasting. You’ll be so full of Him that you can’t help but give the same to the people around you.

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind. Psalms 33:11-13

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:7-9

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? {33} It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. {34} He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. 2 Samuel 22:32-34

These are just some of the verses about God. Continuously read about Him, then you’ll be able to identify yourself with your Heavenly Father.

YOUR SECURITY & CONFIDENCE IS IN HIM

This also means that your security & confidence is in Christ. Having Christ doesn’t mean the absence of challenges, we live in an untamed world. But it only means having Him go before you not only in battle, also in victories & every part of your life, every fiber of your being. That should enable you to be secured & confident.

When you have Christ, you have everything.

 One of my favorite verses- She is clothed with strength & dignity; and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalms 48:14

 O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. Psalms 59:9-10

 My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. {8} Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah Psalms 62:7-8

 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Deuteronomy 20:4

 LISTEN TO HIS VOICE & TAKE THINGS INTO HIS PERSPECTIVE

Anybody can influence you to his or her perspective & talk you into it then you’ll grow up believing in whatever they say, good or bad but the best one you’ll ever need & listen to is His. When people think that you’ll just be like your parents or they’re just waiting for you to fall & their voices are too loud it’s getting into your head…shut your ears but leave room for His still small voice. Don’t let the negative things & words get to your heart. Look at things with faith, everything happens for a reason, for His glory.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalms 73:26

GET INTO THE WORD

The only way to know yourself more is to knowing Him more. And the only way to hear Him & have His perspective is to read His word.

Faith comes from hearing & hearing the word of God. Romans 10:17

He has a lot to say to you & He loves you too much for you to just waste your life. Know His gifts, promises & teachings. And after knowing them, live by them & experience the wonder of His love for you.

“If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.” Exodus 15:26

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5

 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

FORGIVE

Forgive your parents & yourself. Stop thinking & living like the fault of your parents are yours & that the consequences have to be yours. I’ve heard it a couple of times & along the way, I might have said it while going through rough stuff, “I’m like this or am going through this bad situation because I came from a broken family”. You know you have a choice? You have a choice to respond positively every time the going gets tough. Growing up, by His grace, I made my situation a motivation to never give up on His promises in my life. He said in His word, He has fashioned the days for me & that I have a hope & a great future. And I was willing to do everything to claim that. It wasn’t an easy road given the circumstances, never. But I go back to Him then He tells me Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. I am not saying all of these things because life was easy, you will have more challenges because life is a beautiful struggle. But I can confidently say all of these things because I went through a lot & now I testify of His mercy, grace & love. Continuously move forward with God’s promises.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

GET WISDOM & ACT ON IT

From reading His word, you’ll get a lot of wisdom but you have to act on it & be wise. Apply what you learn.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

BELIEVING I MARRIAGE

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I have found whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4

With all of those things, I then believed in love… in marriage. My faith in Christ kept that alive in me. Although I made wrong decisions in relationships, I let go & let God. That was the case in everything. He took the wheel & one day He led me to the man He has for me.

Psalm 139:13-17

 13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, Andskillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there werenone of them.
 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

God is a God of order. Graduate, meet friends that speak life to you, establish your career, get Godly counsel, have fun & the Lord will just give you the man he has for you somewhere in the middle of you living your life in accordance to His will.

Seek Him first & He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

So about immature guys around you… first of all, pray for the person for you & don’t keep guessing every time a guy tries to pursue you. Ask God, ask your Daddy! And if the guy doesn’t love God, has no plans nor a direction in life, leads you to do wrong things, He’s obviously not the one. Don’t play the role of an angel & say you can change him. If he is God’s will for you, God will change him, not you.

Do not awaken love until it so desires. Song of Solomon 8:4

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

And if everything seems to be great- He loves God, has a plan & direction & leads you to the right things… that’s good but that’s not enough, you need His confirmation. And when He confirms, the one will definitely date you with a purpose, with a goal of eventually marrying you. Sadly, this is not very famous. Most people just date & say “we’ll see”. I was riding on the same boat, you can try & learn or you learn from others or let’s say… a familiar one, learn from the experience of your parents.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Marriage has been in our hearts when my husband & I were dating. By His grace, after a year, my husband now, boyfriend at that time, asked me my hand in marriage. We had a wonderful marriage, not because of the venue, lights, decorations, dresses & flowers but because God was with us.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

I believed & now that I am married, I will continue to believe in marriage. It is God’s gift to me & my husband & we fully accept it. And we believe for a God- given family someday.

I end this message with a piece of my wedding vow.

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Handwritten with love

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