DEVO 003 | I Wanna Know What Love Is

Devo

It’s the love month & I wouldn’t miss this chance to share about LOVE. Straight to the point! As we celebrate our relationships this February, may we not forget our first love- Jesus.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

He is WHY we are able to love for HE is LOVE. And I believe it is in knowing, acknowledging & experiencing that, that we are able to give true love. True love? I love how Joel A’bell puts it in one of his sermons. He explains, “God is love but love is not God.” Also I remember in college a saying we printed in our org shirt which says, “Art is not art for art’s sake”. Let me change art to love, Love is not love for love’s sake. The world has defined love in sooooo many ways that I couldn’t have said it better myself. To explain further, I could say I “love” my husband but love is not my husband. I “love” to sing but singing isn’t love.

Wanna know what love is?

The love that never runs dry?

The love that won’t leave you?

The love that accepts you?

The love that takes you higher?

The love that died & lives for you?

JESUS

So, especially at this time when LOVE’s a buzz, again, as we think of our relationships, the flowers, chocolates & all the sweet nothings… or maybe you feel left out from the celebration because you have your reasons… switch whatever emotions are weighing you down to light & love because HE IS THE ONLY REASON YOU’LL EVER NEED TO FEEL LOVED. May we think of our relationship with Jesus, feel his embrace as we look to the heavens, bask in His presence, offer our hearts & say “I love You too”.

DEVO 002 | Think Again

Devo

Have you heard of the saying, “you see things as you are, not as they are”? This has a lot to do with your mind. If you’ve thought negative on things or on people lately, you probably should think again… but now, towards yourself.

How you see things or people starts within. If what’s inside is rubbish, everything else outside may seem that way. And maybe you’ve wondered why everything seems to be going against you. Well, maybe you’re going against you & what’s inside needs general cleaning.

It says in His word, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—PUT IT INTO PRACTICE. And the GOD of PEACE will be with you.(Philippians 4:8-9)

Today, pause, do a self-check, renew your mind through laying it all down at His feet, allow God to do what only He can- transform you. And start to think of whatever is… With that, may His peace embrace you.

Let Your Outfit Do the Roaring

Lookbook

Animal prints became a trend, now they’re back & they’ll keep coming back! Not because they’ll do the talking… they’ll do the roaring. Straight to the point, style on point. Match them with your basics & they’ll do the roaring. Why ‘meow’ when you can ROAR?

GET THE LOOK

Shirt | Zara

Skirt | Zara

Boots | H&M

For more looks, see you on my socials!

DEVO 001 | Pass It On

Devo

Most of the things you know in life are passed on. Do you realise that? The things you believe in, mantra, perspective, songs you make covers on, original ones from passed on insights, realisations, emotions & etc. Now, could you imagine something beautiful that has been passed on from generations to stop all because you decided to keep it to yourself? Or maybe you just weren’t aware of it. Generations thereafter would not know that one beautiful thing. Of course, life goes on but have you ever thought that maybe if you didn’t keep IT, that if you passed it on, it could’ve made a difference to the life of the person you shared it to or maybe it could’ve made an impact to the generations to come?

Reasons. You keep IT to yourself because maybe you feel small & you doubt yourself for sharing? You’re not aware of the power you posses through the IT that you have? Worse, you couldn’t care less or selfishness has taken over, “IT has helped me, made my life better, I want to be above everybody else, why should I share it?” Too much? Probably, but not impossible.

Let’s refer to the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 24:14-30, where one man/ servant kept his treasure because he was afraid it would get lost. (so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.” Matthew 24:25) FEAR got in the way & because of that his talent was taken away. (“So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Matthew 24:28-29) On the other hand, the man who shared, passed on & multiplied his talent was rewarded by the master. (“And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 24:22-23)

Jesus encourages us to use the talents or whatever He has given us, whether IT was passed on from a family, friend, pastor, leader, social media or directly from God through His word or from your quiet time with Him… for it or them to grow & multiply, more importantly, for you & me to grow. And notice the master says “enter into the joy of your master”. Isn’t this what we’re here for? To please, worship & glorify God? More than the multiplication of talent, skill, riches, resources, character… it glorifies God. That is what it ultimately does.

So I encourage you to be a light & intentionally pass on what you know, whether it’s a verse, quote, advice or even a greeting or a compliment.  You just don’t know where that simple gesture will take you & that person too. You might just save a life!

Look beyond the reasons that are holding you back or down from passing it on. Look to Jesus, reflect on & glorify Him.

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Mom Confessions: What You Don’t See

Motherhood

7 months & counting since our baby was born & what a journey it has been, is & will be. I’m still very near the starting line & what a whirlwind of emotions this journey has taken me. Don’t get me wrong, BEYOND BLESSED & GRATEFUL to be a mother but I guess that doesn’t disqualify me from feeling down on some days. After all, I am human, still. My heart has been bugging me to write about this blog & it has been a tug of war to publish it or not. My biggest reservation is probably being judged however my push is for fellow moms who feel the same way but are silenced with the same reasons. It gives me confidence to share these things knowing I am not alone, we’re actually a neighborhood (motherhood,gets?) haha. And the most important reason revealed at the latter part of this blog. With that, I hope these confessions will also do the same to fellow moms & shed light to those who aren’t.

I guess this uneasy feeling started when people started complementing me. Not that I don’t appreciate them. It’s just that every time someone does, I think to myself… “if you could only see what I do, if you only know”, #honestmotherhood. 

So here it goes, this Momma confesses that…

Confession 1 | My baby irritates me

Starting with probably the hardest one to admit. Yes, that cute, angelic little human you see irritates me & only moms will get that 100%. (I feel the judgement now) Of course it’s not her fault & technically it’s not her, it’s what she does. It irritates me when I don’t know what to do whenever she cries. And the things you do to stop those tears right?! This doesn’t only happen in 1 or 2 days, it happens every single day so imagine the energy that’s being released 24/7. You have no idea (only moms do) the amount of work that goes through in a day in raising a child & although it gives indescribable joy, it also gives stress. Just being honest here. Which leads me to confession 2.

Confession 2 | I ask for a breather 

You take a break from motherhood?! No mom does really. I remember the time when I asked my husband to give me a break & get a massage. Horray! But I felt quite uneasy, my body was there but my mind to my baby. Kept the phone close to me so that should anything happen, I’d stop the session & go home. True enough, just before it ended I was on my way back. I ask for this because I can’t be effective when I don’t. And if I don’t rest once in a while, the chances of me getting sick is very high. I can’t nurse my baby while nursing my sick self. A healthy mother means a healthy baby & vice versa.

Confession 3 | I take time to beautify 

You still have time to do that, how about your baby? I thought you’re busy with her? How vain?! Aren’t you being selfish when you think of yourself when mothering? I thankfully have a husband who co-parents. I get a lot of people saying “Mura kag wala nanganak, Tar” (You don’t look like you’ve given birth,Tar), “Nagkabata mn ka Tar oi!” (Looking young, Tar). Flattering, but I must confess, A for effort! And I take the effort because it honestly keeps me sane. Again, only moms will completely understand that. I don’t have to explain myself but hey, it doesn’t mean I’m selfish when I think about my well being when I mother my child. 

Confession 4 | I don’t have it all together 

Doesn’t mean I post nice shots of me & my daughter, I have it all together. So many things happen behind the scenes. Doesn’t mean I’m faking it either. I’m just artsy that way. Haha! But contrary to my feed, I don’t have it all together. In fact nobody is perfect & no mother gets an A. There are countless times already when I forget to bring something that my baby needs whenever we go out. And many times I just have to wing it. But not having it all together doesn’t make me less of a mother. It makes me better every time & over time. 

Confession 5 | The FOMO is real 

FOMO: Fear of missing out. No place I’d rather be but… it doesn’t mean I don’t get affected when I am not able to do some things anymore because I have to prioritize my baby. Many instances when I had to turn down opportunities & I confess it affects me. One time I had a conversation with my husband on attending events & after weighing things, we decided I can’t due to some factors that might affect our baby in a negative way. I cried & told him “I completely understand but just allow me to cry”. 


REFLECTION

I mentioned earlier how this flow of emotions started. I felt uneasy because of what was mentioned but more importantly because I was thinking if the compliments meant that people didn’t see the struggle & only saw what was wonderful, that they only saw me but not Jesus who brought me here. Who is my constant giver of abounding grace that I am able to look the way I am. Truly I say, ONLY BY HIS GRACE.

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

Before publishing this I gave time for myself to process these confessions. To allow God to work on me, on my heart. As my child runs to me, I run to my Abba Father. 

God says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

I could still remember specifically praying to God to prepare my heart for motherhood when I was pregnant. There really is struggle in transition. And truth is, nobody will ever be prepared for this role, nobody is exempted from the struggel, whatever they may be to every mother. It’s a JOURNEY of dying to self, it is not a title, it is a CALLING & we mothers have a specific PURPOSE for this and that’s WHAT YOU DON’T SEE. Like what my friend Carmina says, “God strengthens us to do our calling but at the same time it requires a certain level of participation to carry out His purpose. And choosing to participate can also take it’s toll on us yet we choose it everyday.”

Again, it may seem like a fairytale especially when I’m being creative on my feed but just so you know, I don’t have it all together & it is only through Him that I am able to mother my baby, be a wife to my husband & etc. We are all a work in progress.

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

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

 

I prayed for this. We prayed for this & wow. He gave us the desire of our hearts to have a baby. Truly, there is responsibility to every concept you fall in love with or that with power comes great responsibility. It’s beautiful how this has brought me to a deeper understanding of who God is. He constantly reminds me that He makes all things beautiful in His time. And TODAY IS BEAUTIFUL. I am living yesterday’s He-makes-all-things-beautiful- in- His- time. His promises are already yes & amen. But He doesn’t give the blessings one time big time. As parents we check if our babies are ready to receive what we have for them, right? Same is true with our heavenly Father, He checks if we’re ready to receive what He His in store for us, time & time again, from glory to glory.

To every mom who is going through the struggle,

Remember the time when you were praying for the things you have now… or you are now. He who promised is faithful. He is just working through your heart. He can’t give what you desire, may it be something tangible or not,  if you’re not ready for the blessing, if your heart isn’t. He’s the only one who knows when you’re heart is right to receive. Always workout to have a good heart. A heart where He alone resides & watch how He’ll bless you. You are definitely not alone. Cheer up because we’re too blessed to be stressed!

He makes all things beautiful in His time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

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For more updates & blogs or questions, visit my Instagram & Facebook page, @travelwithtaraph. See you there!

7 Ways to Avoid Baby Blues

Motherhood

Baby Blues otherwise known as Postpartum Depression, is there such a thing? Is it even true? Maybe they’re just a feeling? How come mothers get that after having been given a beautiful baby? 

So many things happen to moms, especially to new ones, that it’s almost impossible not to have baby blues. Whatever a mom goes through isn’t just a feeling nor are they made up. The struggle is real & this does happen. Reasons may vary but there are common ones & I believe all moms go through this in different levels.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION DEFINED

The dictionary defines it to be a depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. According to research some of the symptoms are sadness, crying a lot for no reason, not being able to bond with your baby, less interest in things, memory loss & less focused.

You think you have it? 

Before proceeding with this blog, please know that I am not a professional. I am not able to treat you. I am simply sharing my thoughts & experiences on the matter. It is best to go to a doctor for treatment if you think you need to. 

Here are some of the ways to avoid Baby Blues: 

1 | PREPARE FOR IT

During pregnancy, i’ve already been hearing about baby blues/ postpartum depression. Heard a few stories about it & had an idea what was coming so I tried preparing for it. You could say nobody’s ever ready. Agree! But you’d rather do something proactive right? One thing I did was buying nice sleep wear or clothes for home knowing I’d be at home most of the time. Looking nice even when you’re at home contributes to positive energy. And no it isn’t shallow nor selfish trying to improve yourself physically & all aspects for that matter. 

2 | FIND A DIVERSION 

I completely understand that your hands are full with your baby but you still need a diversion to keep your sanity. Some of the diversions I have are watching movies while breastfeeding, singing my heart out to karaoke at home, doing online business, obviously blogging & etc. Do what works for you!

3 | CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES

Once your baby is out, there are soooooo many things that are beyond your control. So why stress yourself about these things? When it’s messy, let it be! Your baby is just being a baby so don’t sweat the small stuff or what’s obvious.

4 | GO OUT

I’m not saying you go out right away. Your baby is still the priority. You’ll most probably be at home for the first few weeks/ months to protect your baby from getting sick but when the time comes that you’re able to, go out! Get some fresh air! Also, my husband & I are have a pretty strong opinion on bringing babies too early at the mall. It’s really a no-no for us. Why? Too many people carry viruses & that’s just circulating in the air. I’m sure you know very well that your baby’s immune system is still developing. If you take our advice, (I really don’t want to force our perspective on the matter so I’m expressing this as sensitive as possible) earliest time to bring them to the mall would probably be at month 3 onwards when your baby has quite a good number of vaccinations. Also, as much as possible go only on days &/or times when it isn’t too crowded. We all know weekends are packed! 

5 | DRESS UP

… even when you’re at home. It will get messy but make the effort to dress up, still. Making the effort means you care & caring will keep you going! And it does make you feel good when you look good. Tell me I’m not the only one who feels the same way. Mommas! Your baby & family requires your sanity so do that!

6 | CALL A FRIEND

Where maaah girl friends at?! Call them! You’d be surprised to know that the feelings are mutual & that you’re not alone in this journey. You also don’t wait for your gal pals to call you. They’re your friends for a reason & most of the time, they can’t spell it out for you. When you need help, ask for it. When you need to express your feelings, talk to your husband or to your most trusted besties. Buttttttt make sure to express yourself to people you could trust or those who won’t judge you especially that when you do, you’re being vulnerable. 

7 | PRAY

Call a friend? Yes. But there are things that you can’t express to people. Call on Jesus. In fact, call on Him first. Going back to the first way, praying was one of the things I did to prepare myself with what was coming. Running to Him takes off a heavy load of emotions. Never keep them to yourself. And instead of talking to yourself, talk to God.


Those are my two cents on the matter. If you’re someone reading this who knows a mom, be sensitive & if possible, help out. And if you’re a mom reading this, YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK. YOU GOT THIS BEAUTIFUL!

 

Confessions of a Pregnant Mom at Week 38

Motherhood

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

 


 

Preggy Momma Confession coming right up!

38 in 2 days & I found myself confused in prayer. Have you ever been confused what exact words to say to God or ask of Him?

I think any mom would agree that the last weeks of pregnancy are… what right & fitting words would describe them, right?

I want to pop, like NOW! The stretching & struggle are just so real that even the thought of labour & delivery pains are gone. You just want your baby out & finally see him/ her, her in my case. I couldn’t even think of the “stress” they say, that’s coming. I just want to wrap my arms around her & see her with my very eyes.

But as I was praying, something hit me. This child is ultimately His. He has numbered her days, have great plans for her & all the beautiful promises of God are set. That even if I reaaaaaaally want to give birth NOW, HIS PLANS won’t change. And His ways are higher than mine.


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9 2

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


 

And right there & then my prayer changed to “Lord, if not NOW, then whenever it may happen, would you give me the strength to endure the struggle that comes with this blessing.” I thought, if enduring is the way for the will of my Father to be realised, then yes, ok. Because really, it’s for my own good, it’s for our baby’s best.

 


For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.  Corinthians 1:20


 

AND THEN I REMEMBER WHAT JESUS DID ON THE CROSS.

At that time He was probably saying, Father God, if me enduring the cross for your will & purpose to prevail, would be the only way for the world to be saved, then yes, ok.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM HE ENDURED THE CROSS, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

For the JOY SET BEFORE ME… I WILL ENDURE.

 


 

Sometimes we get stuck on what we want or what we think we know is best for us… stuck in our small minds & not seeking the One who sees the big picture. Then we rush into praying for something that’s “just”. He says in His word to SEEK HIM FIRST & all these things shall be added to us. I’ve always believed that in the process of seeking Him, He’ll reveal Himself, His will & purpose for you resulting for you to want what He wants because again, His ways are higher, He knows what’s best for you. ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU already means, that.

Would you take time to ask God what He wants because really, if you pray for what you just want… He won’t change nor His plans or promises, just because you prayed.

Let your prayer seek His will.

He is God. Unchanging. But have the confidence because… He is God. All- knowing. He is God. He loves you. He will not withhold what’s best for His children. He makes all things beautiful in His time, always.

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11


Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… Jeremiah 1:5

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We’ve come this far, see you soon baby love!

 

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.

Gale

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