Posts Tagged ‘30-days-round-3’
My 30 Days of Gratitude ended last Monday! I missed out blogging some of those days, and normally I would consider that as failure. But I’ve been learning to not beat myself up for not meeting my own standards, if you know what I mean. Looking back, I can only be grateful for times when I couldn’t find time to blog, it only means that those days have been so full.
Offline, my journal has become a messy list of blessings, one-sentence prayers, reflections, Bible verses, and dried up tears. I loved reading through the past 30 days, and remembering the big and small things God blessed me and my family with.
If there’s one thing I (re)learned through this 30-day challenge, it’s that, when we’re in the spirit of gratitude, no amount of bad news can drag us down. In fact, even negative situations can become positive in the light of God’s sovereignty and goodness.
Admittedly, the past month was made of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Some prayers were answered, some questions still left unsolved. Emails that made me smile, emails that made me tear up. People who made me feel horrible, friends who made me laugh.
And then there’s our two little girls.. my constant source of joy. Challenging as it may seem, raising two babies at once, each day is just so much better with them around.
Today I thank the Lord for being good, no matter what our circumstances are. It’s easy to fall into a state of anxiety and self-pity when things are not going the way we expect, when doors are slammed shut, or when we’re locked up in a waiting room and we have no idea what’s up next. Come to think of it, it is times like this when we can really practice gratitude—moments when nothing seems to make sense except that God is good, and He has our best interest in mind.
It has been quite a month. 30 Days of Gratitude, it’s a wrap!
1. Cancelled movie date. We reserved seats to watch Warm Bodies (yup, zombie love for Valentines!) twice and cancelled them twice too because we couldn’t leave the house. We couldn’t find a babysitter, for one. We have one yaya, but we need at least 2 people watching over the babies if we have to be away for a long time. On top of it, these two girls are keeping us glued to their crib with their smiles, and their cries, and all the little noises they make. But hey, how can we complain?
2. Roses & chocolates. D came home with a single-stemmed rose and some Ferrero chocolates for me. We have to admit, no matter how cliche flowers and chocolates and teddy bears are, it still makes us, women, feel warm and fuzzy inside when we’re the recipients of these traditional symbols of love. Yes, even on an overrated occasion such as Valentines Day.
3. Loves of my life. Our movie date may have been cancelled, the single-stemmed rose dried up, and the chocolates consumed, but the best part of Valentines Day was ending the night squeezed in our queen-sized bed, with these two wide-eyed baby girls who don’t have any idea that we’re sooo in love with them. At the risk of sounding like a bad Hallmark greeting card, everyday is like Valentines day at the Oyos home.
30 Days of Gratitude, Day 26.
1. Memory lane. I finally got around to processing the photos from our Tagaytay trip. And by memory lane I mean both relieving memories from that day, and the name of that quaint little cafe we visited in Tagaytay. One of these days I’ll post more photographs, you know, blogger that I am.
2. Surprise visit. My recently married friend Ivy dropped by to visit me last Monday with a pint of ice cream and lots of stories to tell. One thing I love about this friendship is, no matter how little we talk lately, we can always catch up whenever time permits. I’m glad she appeared at our doorstep last week. We updated each other on what’s happening in each other’s lives, talked about our dreams like we always do, shared what God has been teaching us lately. It’s good to look back and see how the topics of our conversations grew up with us through the years. If you have friends like this in your life, you should know that you are so blessed.
3. Ninang Nory’s dream. She said she dreamt about me. In her dream I was at home, with the kids, I was glowing like I was wearing make-up, and “everything was well and good“. I’m excited to find out what that dream means, and see how it unfolds in real life.
30 Days of Gratitude, Day 23.
1. Leading worship. My husband was assigned to lead the praise and worship in church last Sunday, and I stood up there with him again (at his request). It’s what I would do too when I’m the one leading worship—I’d ask him to stand up there with me. Not that we couldn’t do it apart from each other; it’s more of, we simply love doing this together. It doesn’t feel like a long time ago when I was just praying to have someone I can grow in faith with and worship the Lord with. God answered those prayers beyond my imagination. Not only do I get to worship with D now and all the days of our lives, I also get to do this ministry I love with him.
2. Speaking to the youth. Later in the afternoon, I delivered a message at Lifextreme, our church’s youth worship. The last time I had the privilege of speaking to the young people in church was February last year, where I talked about, well, marriage. And then I got pregnant and took a little hiatus from speaking in front. One year later, last Sunday, I spoke about loving your family. Funny, these topics they assign to me. Someone’s getting old.
So I told them the obvious, that we get to choose our friends, who we hang out with, and in a way, who we work with. But the family we’re born into.. now that is something that God chose for us. It’s a gift, something that we should nurture and take care of even though, and especially because, these are the people who know us for who we are. And these are the people we’ll go through life with, whether we like it or not! Be kind to the ones you do life with, says Bobbie Houston. I stood up in the pulpit for 30 minutes speaking about this topic that means so much to me, especially now that we’re starting a family of our own.
3. I love my family. I could never get tired saying it. I love my family. I love the family I was born into, and I love this new family God has blessed me with. The thing with speaking about topics like this is, as you study your passage and review your notes, you also get to look into your own life and have a deeper appreciation of what you have. I feel so blessed beyond words.
*The rest of the 30 Days of Gratitude shall be posted with dates backtracked. Like I anticipated, it’s easy to list down blessings, but to find time to post them here.. it’s more challenging than ever. I just need one uninterrupted afternoon to get those drafts out, so watch out for a flood of posts soon. ;)
30 Days of Gratitude, Day 22.
1. Day off. It was the first time we went out-of-town without the twins, and the farthest we ever got away from them since they were born. Lola Norma came to watch over the babies while Mommy & Daddy took a day off with some married friends. It almost felt like we just got married last week—excited, in love, free. Not that we don’t feel that way anymore now, we do. Just that, having babies around makes you feel those things in a whole new level.
2. Married friends. When we got married, I remember wishing my friends would get married already for the selfish reason of wanting to talk to them about married life. Wish granted! An avalanche of friends’ weddings happened in a span of 2 years, one after the other. Last Thursday, six of us went to Tagaytay and spent the day splurging on good food and hopping from one hangout place to another—Memory Lane for afternoon snack, Pamana for dinner, Cliff House for mochi and coffee. We took a lot of photos, and freely talked about *cough* stuff we avoided talking about when we were still singles. :) It’s a blessing to have people we can grow with, whatever phase in life we are. Last time I was in Tagaytay with this same group, we were scouting for a wedding venue for Robert & Tin, and now they’ve tied the knot too. So much has happened in a span of a few months!
And so many blessings all in just one paragraph.
3. Coming home. We made the most out of the day and by the time D and I came home, it was already past 12 midnight. The babies were still up and a little restless, but were mostly just waiting to be tucked in. It took me less than 30 minutes to get both of them to sleep, making me think that they really just waited for us! I enjoyed the day out with my friends, no doubt. But nothing still beats coming home and ending the day with the loves of my life.
30 Days of Gratitude, Day 19.
1. Real food. Today we had chopseuy for lunch, a huge improvement from the cans of tuna, spam, and corned beef we’ve been eating the past days. With our pantry and ref replenished with goods from our recent grocery shopping, we have two weeks worth of real and healthy menu in place. I wish I could say I’m the one cooking, but I don’t have 8 hands. Thank God I can leave the cooking to Ate Sally (our yaya) while I look after the twins.
2. Sleeping routine. One of the many challenges in raising twins is getting the two babies to follow ONE sleeping routine. In the afternoon, they almost always take naps alternately. Meaning, one sleeps while the other is awake, and just as the other one starts to fall asleep, the other one starts to wake up. Which makes it impossible to take a break and do other things because you always have at least one baby to feed, or entertain, or carry.
But in the evenings when the lights are out, ahhhh, these two sleep like a baby! (I know, they are babies.) Looking back to those first few days when each of them (EACH!!) would cry within 2-3 hour intervals, and now, they sleep through 5-6 hours straight (sometimes even longer), we sure have come a long way in the sleeping department. #happydance
3. God is in control. What a timely reminder, when suddenly some things in our life are not certain, and fears start to creep back in. It’s reassuring to know that, just as there’s food in the ref, and we have a warm bed to sleep in at night, God is in control.
30 Days of Gratitude, Day 18.
1. No time to blog. I’m not sure what made this week different from the week before it, and why I couldn’t find time to do other things besides alternately and/or simultaneously watching over our twins. Days have been fast, and no matter how I try to set aside time to write, I always find myself wondering at the end of the day where the past 24 hours have gone. Frustrating as it may be to not have time to blog (or do anything else!), it also means I’m spending time with my girls, and nothing could be worth more than that.
2. Grocery therapy. After several days living on canned food, my husband and I finally got to do grocery-shopping Tuesday afternoon. What I love about buying groceries is, not only do we get an important errand out of the way, we also get to spend some quality time while practicing our budgeting and decision-making skills.
3. 13 days left. It’s been 17 great days counting blessings and being thankful for the big and small things this life has to offer. One thing for sure, when this 30 Days of Gratitude project is over, the gratitude continues.
30 Days of Gratitude, Day 17.