she was everything to Him: a reflection on motherhood

When I was driving my cousin around town (and while my mom was babysitting my son),  I told my cousin that it couldn’t be long because I was basically my son’s source of food since I am nursing him. I then jokingly mumbled a bunch of other roles that I play for my son: teacher, console-r and soother, playmate, snuggle buddy, psychologist (to figure out what all those cries mean, of course!).

And I realized: Wow. I am everything to my son.

It made me think: Mother Mary must’ve been everything to Jesus. Yes, at least for a time, she was everything to Him.

I further pondered how, just how, my mission “to change the world with the grace of God” is indeed being lived out in my “hidden life” as a mother.

How? Well, MY heart is being changed by God’s grace day by day, moment by moment. So technically, isn’t the world changing? God is changing me through tiny little him (my son) by showing me who He (my God) is.

In fact, God’s grace is the only thing that is sustaining me right now!

Yes, my mission is feeding my son, burping him, changing his diaper, keeping the house clean, and maybe, possibly cooking– just getting through the day.

My mission is praying fervently that my baby takes his naps– and doesn’t cry from having gas!

My mission is working on my marriage 110% now more than ever, because the happiness and holiness of my son depends on my husband and I being an “us.” My husband and I are to make a very important foundation, which itself must be rooted in Christ.

Yes, this mission is motherhood. And motherhood is changing me through the grace of Christ.

Motherhood is teaching me patience… gentleness… to love the little things. To love this tiny person’s personhood.

To stay strong.

To have Faith.

Many days, motherhood doesn’t seem glamorous at all. Spit up everywhere. Poopy diaper blowouts. Your son pulling all of your hairs out. Oh, and not getting a bite to eat for a while (that one’s tough on me!).

But by the grace of God, what could be more noble? 🙂

rest and why Heaven isn’t boring (zZz)

Alas, some nights we just need rest.

No… I take that back.

Alas, all nights we need rest.

I’m not just talking about fake “rest” where you’re worried about all of the things of the next day. I’m talking about really resting in Our LORD, knowing that you’ve done what you could today, and that tomorrow will have its own tasks. Matthew 6:33-34 reads: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

Sometimes I wonder: will there ever be a moment of complete “rest” in married life, from your spouse or from children of whom you take care? Unmarried now, I do have the opportunity to just completely “rest” in the LORD without spousal or parental ties lingering in the back of my mind at all times. This is why I have much respect for the parents of the children and teens that I work with: parenting is a tireless job. And I have respect for married couples without children as well. Keeping up a healthy marriage is no easy feat. It requires constant sacrifice and work.

And speaking of families… do we forget Whose family to which we ultimately belong?

We all need to be a “child” at the end of the day.

Whose child? God’s child.

Every day, we must know how to be God’s child and how truly to rest in Him. We must practice rest and perfect rest in Christ! For this is what we were made for, for all eternity: to rest in Him and to rejoice in Him in Heaven! 

This “rest” will not be a dormant or boring or dreary sleep, however; it will be an alive and captivating and invigorating eternal state of affairsThe “rest” will be from the battle between our will and the Will of God: no longer will we be inclined to turn away from Him, but to truly REST in Him, to Whom we belong!

Nothing up there in Heaven will be of our own will, but only of the Divine Will.

If the thought of Heaven does not strike our fancy today, then what are we even working for here on earth, and why is working here on earth even exciting?

If we do not look forward to “resting” in Heaven, then we must certainly be amiss about the Heavenly ecstasy that awaits us and for which all things on earth should be ordered! I’ve actually told my little cousins that maybe the word “rest” is deceiving, for when we think about “rest” in a Divine sense, it is defined much differently. I told the little cuties that perhaps gravestones shouldn’t say “Rest in Peace” but “Have Fun in Heaven!” Why? I didn’t their little brains to think Heaven was a boring place where people just sleep forever in the presence of God!

Up in Heaven, “rest” will simply mean being fully alive, without our own human sin and worries getting in the way. We will be fully trusting in Our LORD, and having a grand time in ecstatic UNION with HIM and with EVERYONE ELSE up there! We will be praising our LORD with every bit of ourselves, and we will be in perfect love with Him and all of the angels and saints above. We will be rooting on and being prayer warriors for all of the saints in the making on earth (“intercessory prayers” will be answered by us!).

I like to think that Heaven will be one huge, crazy, ecstatic family party; everyone, a child of God. Everyone, united in one purpose: to Love God (and others in His name)  and to be Loved by God.

I don’t know about you, but this vision of Heaven makes me yearn and desire to rest in the LORD today and for all eternity! (And no wonder some of the saints prayed to die early if it were God’s Will: they simply wanted to be united to Him and to all the angels and saints sooner rather than later in that Divine ecstasyanything but boring!)

Well, I have many more thoughts to write about tonight, but hey, I better go rest in Our LORD… at least, for just the night, in my sleep. 🙂

Sneak peak:  I believe that is the #1 thing that I desire after I go to Confession is rest as well: to rest in Christ’s mercy! After every Confession, I realize that I usually sneak over to the Blessed Sacrament to just gaze at our LORD, to smile at Him as I rest in His endless mercy and forgiveness.

To be continued…

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Me, my grandma who taught me to live life as a prayer (since I was a baby), and some of my cousins a couple of years ago during her 86th birthday celebration. She raised 8 kids, and I wonder how she ever found time to rest in the LORD! Her mother had 8 kids as well, and was a third order Carmelite. Crazy!

real love: hard, but worth it

Real love is when it hurts, but you forgive.

Real love is when someone sees all of the ugliest parts of you, but loves you anyway.

Real love accepts the other, but also challenges the other to grow.

Real love is open and vulnerable.

Real love is messy.

Real love is struggle.

Real love is sacrifice.

Real love is hard.

Real love is beautiful.

Real love is full of joy.

Real love endures.

Real love is strong, and when it is weak and falls, can grow stronger and fly up even higher than before.

Real love is worth it.

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My “ashed” boyfriend on Ash Wednesday serenading me in a surprise cover (to be linked to me the next day on the Feast of Saint Valentine). Man o man am I one blessed woman. Funny how this Instagram came out with a yellow tinge. “Look at the stars… look how they shine for you… and everything you do… yeah they were all yellow.” 🙂

Thank you for loving me for nearly two years now, with a steady love that no woman could ever imagine existed!

no greater love than this

Family life, and all of its struggles, has taught me about Christ’s sacrifice for me, His love for me, all of these years. In a family, sacrifice, patience, and humility are key to surviving.

During various times of my life, I have grown used to living in a single household of 8 to 10 people. Things are just bound to go wrong with numbers so high (and even with two people, you have two very unique individuals who are bound to disagree about something). But we never gave up, and we continue to never give up.

Not only that, I come from a large Filipino clan on my mom’s side– and we have certainly weathered it all. My extended family has also taught me what a true “all for one and one for all” spirit looks like.

When I used to think of romantic love, I would very much idealize it. I would fail to take into account all of the sacrifice, patience, and humility that would be necessary in a future relationship– the same kind of virtues that I was learning about growing up in my family.

Now that I am in a courtship with a wonderful young man, I am constantly reminded, from my own past experiences with my family, how I cannot run away from Cross of Christ, even in this most exhilarating experience. (Yes, he is my first boyfriend. Shocking!)

In dating, there will be crosses to bear, most especially if we are to marry and start our own family too, one day! Namely, our own two crosses, which we are discerning uniting under the one Cross of Christ for life.

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My dashing boyfriend and I in front of the Memorial Church at Stanford University. I am learning all about how to give pure, brave, Christ-like love with this young man. 🙂

Christ Himself told us: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

Well, I consider my boyfriend my best friend. No wonder love can get hard sometimes. There’s no greater love than to lay your life down for a friend– let alone the person who is nearest and dearest to you.

I can confidently and conclusively say…

It’s a challenging task, to love.

And yet, every day, in little and big ways, I discover that LOVE is truly that “thing” for which God has designed me! After all, He is Love (1 John 4:8).

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Perpetual Adoration of Our LORD Jesus Christ– He who models Perfect Love for us–  in the middle of hippie town. Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco. My boyfriend and  — and my best friend, our tour guide– took a visit!