Power of Prevailing Prayer

 

Now it can be told. It’s official. I’m hired and I’m back as a preschool teacher.

This isn’t about me or my new work. This post is about how the Lord has spoken to me all throughout my journey in finding a new job.

You all know that my life “stopped” for five years because I waited for my mom to be fully recovered from her accident. Despite this, those five years were meaningful years for me because I devoted my time and energy for the family.

Last November 2016, my husband came home and his work came to an end because of the oil crisis in the Middle East. I was anxious to say the least but we hung on to God’s promise that He will take care of all our needs despite the drought in our lives.

It was at this point that I decided I needed to help my husband in any way I can. I thought to myself, if ever I find work again, then my husband will have the option to stay here in the Philippines with me. Besides, my mom is completely well already.

So my job search began. I said, let me find work in the Human Resource field again. But even though I applied to a lot of companies, I did not receive any single call for three months despite my achievements and work experience. I worried that 10 years have passed since I had an HR position. Who would hire someone like me?

Then it happened. I realized I wasn’t praying for God’s will and direction. I was carving out my own path from my own fallible wisdom. I decided to revive my devotion with God and I’m now willing to be led by Him. So I listened. And I prayed. And I trusted. And I waited.

The Lord brought to my mind that what He has given me is the gift of teaching young children. He reminded me of His life assignment for me. I had to shift my plans to land a prestigious HR job. Teaching is my calling. And I have to obey. Doing something outside God’s purpose for my life is just like rebelling and going against God’s will.

So I prayed some more. Lead me Lord to where you want me to go. I laid to God my needs and my limitations and told Him to just give unto me what will be the best for me and my family. Close the doors if that path will lead me to destruction. I bared my heart’s motives to God on why I want to work again and asked Him to purify every part of my desires.

Three weeks. It only took me three weeks to finally get the “you’re hired” statement from my employer. Every step of the way, I prayed for this job. It is no longer monetary goals that I’m after, but a rich, rewarding experience I will gain through this new work I will have.

I prayed, Lord, just give me enough of what I need. I trust that what You have given is best for me and my family.

I’m happy. Truly happy that the Lord was with me all this time. His wisdom and guidance led me to where I am now. There is indeed power in prevailing prayer. After all that has been said and done, the truth remains that when  You put God first, all else follows.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

– Matthew 6:33

Be Patient. God is at Work.

 

Conviction comes swiftly to those who are willing to listen to the voice of God.

Last night, I was emotionally drained and I attracted negative energy by expecting the worst scenario to happen to me. The worst did happen and I lost my trust in a person who just failed to meet my standards of decent behavior. Out of my sheer frustration, I blocked that person from my friend list and did not want to have anything to do with her. I said to myself, I don’t deserve to be treated this way. These kinds of people are not worth my time and energy. Better to just walk away from them and keep my peace of mind. I slept the night away feeling tired to have to go through that ordeal.

Morning after. Just as I’ve believed, today is a fresh, new day from the Lord. My family and I went to church, and lo and behold, the message was “BE PATIENT. GOD IS AT WORK.” God surely knows what you need to hear even before you ask Him to reveal Himself to you. It was so timely and on point that I needed to be patient with people. I needed to love my neighbors. Even to love my enemies. And to even pray for them!

I know that my being human caused me to react negatively on the circumstance at hand. But somehow, I feel as though I have improved in my interactions with people. Yes, I still do give limits to my patience with people. But somehow, I have learned to pray and turn them over to the Lord because in all honesty, I now know that I cannot control anyone’s behavior and expect them to conform to my standards of decent behavior. It is just my heart’s desire that I still be transformed by the Lord to be more accepting of people’s weaknesses, because I also have my own weaknesses.

Be patient. God is at work. Let that be a reminder to me daily when my temper is about to flare because of failed expectations. May I be always guided by the thought that everyone needs grace. Grace is the best gift ever that we received from the Lord and it is that same grace that will be the best gift we can give to our neighbors and enemies.

The Lord Hears Your Cry

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Many years ago, I was also a single woman waiting for “the one”. I have also been witness to single friends who are struggling with doubts about their self-esteem because no one seem to be interested in them. I ache with these single friends with their deep longings in their hearts. I always remember them during these times where everyone is celebrating togetherness as a couple, whether they are dating, engaged or married. In a world filled with mushy stuff this Valentine’s day, I lift up my single friends. This poem I’ve written is for you.

THE LORD HEARS YOUR CRY

By Leah Albano

The heavens are witnesses 
To your every heartache.
The angels know
Of every tear that you shed.


The prayers of your heart,
Hoping for someone to love you,
Pleading that a man
Will come to care for you.


All these are etched 
In God's mind.
Know that He has you
In His heart.


The Lord hears your cry.
The Lord knows of your pain.
He understands your lonelines.
He feels your every doubt.


Know that He is there
To take away your every tear.
Know that He is there
To soothe away your every hurt.


Look unto Him
And trust in His goodness.
Let this period of waiting
Be a period of growing intimacy with Him.


God alone, in His infinite faithfulness
Shall meet that void you are feeling.
He alone, is the Lover
Whom you will ever need.

Written: February 13, 2002


Photo: CTTO

Reflections on a Rainy Night

​It’s definitely one of those days when you just want to lie down and sleep. It has been raining for days but surprisingly, gloom is not in the realm of emotions I am feeling because of the weather. If you knew me from way back, I’m a pessimist by nature. But slowly, God worked through my heart and I now allow joyful feelings to flow to and from me. 

What am I driving at exactly when I now say these things? Let me give you a picture. Last year, several of my FB friends have been announcing back to back that they are pregnant.Some for the first time. Still some for their nth time. Honestly, those moments were very painful to me. I cannot bring myself to rejoice with them. It hurts. Totally. But I suffered in silence. Perhaps, all the other barren women out there feel the same way I do back then. I ask, why are they blessed with children? Why is the Lord silent on me and my husband? 

I suffered in silence a year ago seeing their posts. I’ve seen all of them giving births and now playing with their babies. Happily making status after status about their growing families. 

Till it hit me. I cannot be bitter and angry at God about this. Their lives are different from mine. The Lord has a plan for me. There must be a reason for all this waiting and longing. There must be a time to accept the will of the Lord and come to terms with being truly happy for other people. 

Joy cannot be forced though. It must come from a deep place of acceptance and contentment. A place wherein there’s full trust that God is in control. A place wherein there’s assurance that God is wise and knows what is best for me and my husband. 

Fast forward today. I’ve still got pregnant friends now. But though there’s still a tinge of pain when I see them, I can honestly say now that I am truly happy for them. It’s like saying, don’t worry about me, “it is well with my soul.” Whether the Lord will grant us a baby or not, my heart will yield to His will. I will hold on to God’s promise that He knows the plans for me and my husband, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future. I declare that God is a sovereign God. May His will be done in our lives! 

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Image credits to etsy.com

Blog Review: Estancia de Lorenzo

​No one, not even the rain and floods could stop us from seeing each other that weekend. The date has been set that we will all go to Estancia de Lorenzo’s Saturday Breakfast Buffet. We can’t miss this one since this events place is a dream-turned-reality for our very good-hearted friend Cathy. You see,    Estancia de Lorenzo is just one of their family businesses and Cathy is very much a part of this endeavor. As her friends, we are here to support her in whatever way we can. So, as promised, I’ll write about my wonderful experience at EDL as a way of thanking Cathy who  toured us around their place. 

Ready for my Poptalk-like review? So here goes… 

Saturday Breakfast Buffet

For a value of P249.00/pax, their buffet is totally affordable. Their menu changes according to Cathy. But when we tried their buffet, there’s coffee and iced tea all you can, a salad station, noodles, and a chocolatey, creamy champorado. Their main entrees are sinangag na rice (of course), ham, tapa, daing na bangus, tortang talong, crispy tawilis, mashed potato. There’s an egg station wherein you could request the staff to cook your kind of egg right before you. There’s also a fruits and dessert station plus their duck ham and duck eggs table. From what I’ve gathered, they raise their own ducks and produce the duck hams with glaze perfect for Christmas gifts or even in other occasions. 

For variety, the Buffet has a good selection of our favorite Filipino breakfast foods. Who could go wrong with tapa and daing na bangus with eggs, right? For those who are into veggies, they have green salads with caesar dressing. 

So, what stood out for me here? My number 1 on the list is their duck ham. Next is the champorado with a secret ingredient. I won’t tell you what Cathy told us. Go figure guys when you visit. 🙂 I also enjoyed the waffle with choco chips and syrup on top! But really, everything in their menu is good for making your tummy happy. 

Recommendations for the Buffet

I’m wearing my thinking hat for Senior Citizens and health-buff future customers here. 

I hope they offer plain rice too. Less oil than sinangag here. I also wish there were more veggie varieties to choose from. Steamed okra and talong perhaps coupled with itlog na maalat (maybe salted duck eggs) and tomatoes. Coffee can be paired with warm milk just like in hotels. 

Facilities and Amenities

Estancia de Lorenzo has an impressive array of facilities and amenities. They have a five-storey green-technology building (glass paneled window structures where natural light comes in). The building houses conference venues, a sports bar, and a roof-deck dining area overlooking the mountains. Their five-floor staircase is an art in itself! 

As we walked through their sprawling property, we entered their Pavilions which could seat up to a maximum of 250 pax. Perfect for wedding venues and other special events and gatherings. Their Garden can also accommodate events. There’s also a swimming pool near the Pavilion which can also be used by guests. 

Strolling under the rain, we headed towards their farm. They have varied animals there, which they plan to turn into a zoo someday. I’ve seen lots of chickens, a parrot, eagle, monkey, and some baby crocodiles. 

Our last stop was at their quaint coffee shop.If you like intimate conversations, go here. We spent the rest of our day here over coffee and chocolate cake while baring our heart and soul here as long-time friends. It was here we realized that there’s a retreat center kind of vibe at Estancia de Lorenzo. Maybe it was the cold, rainy weather that made us feel this way. But it seems that EDL could be anyone’s getaway place. 

Recommendations for the Amenities

I won’t go into the events facilities. They are all excellent to me. Just look at EDL’s portfolio of the successful wedding and debut events they hosted before. 

Here’s my wish list for EDL amenities. I hope that as they have PWD-friendly restrooms, they would also invest in the future in an elevator to their five-storey building so Seniors and PWDs alike can enjoy the sports bar and the roof deck. I do hope too that they explore the idea of putting up an accommodation that can house guests who may want to rent their Pavilions for several days for their church retreats, school seminars or corporate conferences. 

Service and Staff

Your best resources they say are not in your infrastructure or finances. It is your people. No matter how good your food or place is, if you’ve got people who aren’t with you in your mission and vision, then everything’s a waste.

Thankfully, I feel as though EDL is in the right track when it comes to their staff and the service they give to their customers.They were all friendly and accommodating. What with all the groufie requests we had!      They all gladly obliged our trigger-happy favors. 🙂 Our big thank yous to all the Ates and Kuyas we met there. 

Location

It’s accessible through cab drivers. EDL is at Waze. When commuting, get to SM San Mateo first, then take a trike. Tell them you’re heading to Estancia de Lorenzo and they know the place already.EDL is still planning to put up a private shuttle.

So there you have it guys. Estancia de Lorenzo is the new place to be at in San Mateo. 

Try their Saturday Breakfast Buffet from 7 am to 10 am. Feel free to request for an ocular visit to their facilities. Who knows, you might see yourself getting wed here, having your baby baptized or just plain celebrating your life events!

For inquiries and reservations, call 570-6172 / 570-1185 / 0917-5015400

Estancia de Lorenzo is located at Doc Ayong’s Farm, Aquarius St. Bancom Subd., Gulod Malaya, San Mateo Rizal. 

Of Pregnancies and Barrenness

 

If you’ve followed my blogs before, you would know by now that I’m a wife of an OFW and I stay at home with my mother who has retired from her teaching profession. One more detail you’d know is that my husband and I are still childless after five years of marriage.

I’ve asked for prayers for having a child and we’ve taken our own steps of having ourselves checked by the doctor if we are okay.

This month, I’ve visited my doctor (not my OB-Gyne) who has taken care of me since my college days. He knew my history of seizures and clinical depression and it is he who monitors my general health. I’ve consulted him about implications should I become pregnant. He gave insights and recommendations on how I should take care of myself if that time comes. But what struck me most was the realization that it would be risky for me to become pregnant.

I shared the outcome of our session with my husband and I said to him, I feel apprehensive now to get pregnant, just thinking of what might happen upon withdrawal of my maintenance medicines for my health conditions. Maybe, having a child of our own is not in God’s plans for us. My husband and I are in prayerful agreement that we will submit to God’s will whatever it is. But if God so chooses to give us a baby, then we surely welcome it with the trust that God will protect my well-being.

Because of this development, talks about child adoption surfaced again. Our hearts are open to this idea, if it is according to God’s will for our family life.

Now that I let this news out, my heart goes out to all the wives yearning for a child but continue to be barren because of health complications and other reasons. My heart goes out to all the orphans and abandoned children yearning for adoptive mothers.

Maybe the world is made just the way it is so that we will place our full trust in the Sovereign Lord who knows all the reasons behind our trying situations.

As a way of ending this, I remember my aunt saying to me, “if it is God’s will, it will be given; if God will not give it, there’s a reason.” I am hanging on to that.

 

 

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Photo credit to the Pinterest owner

 

 

 

My Hulugan Falls Adventure

If I were still a girl scout now, I would have earned a badge of courage and endurance when I went trekking with my friends to Hulugan Falls, Luisiana Laguna.

I did not expect to be faced with so much difficulties just to arrive at the waterfalls site. We were greeted by rain when we reached our point of origin. And with rain, comes mud – the kind of mud that sunk my feet deep down into the ‘kumunoy’-like ‘anyong-lupa’. Yes, I trekked much of the time barefooted. I felt the earthy, slippery ‘putik’, and the stony boulders. I had to stretch my short legs to cross boulders and reach for the next stepping stones. I had to bravely face the steep, rocky paths. Many times, I just had to focus on what was before me and not mind what was coming ahead.

And here comes my great take-away message from my trekking experience: I realized that the trek I endured is much like the Christian life. Oftentimes, the Lord will not let us see the big picture of why we are experiencing such great troubles in our life. He just lets us see a glimpse of our situation and He takes care of what lies ahead. Perhaps, the Lord knows that when we see the trials we are yet to face, we just might give up on life and we will not continue the fight of faith. The Lord understands our fearful nature so He provides us His guiding hand to walk us through step by step, moment by moment. The Lord honors our little steps of faith and He takes us to His reward at the proper time when He says our journey has ended and when He has seen us grow in character.

The great Hulugan Falls is my reward. Though I enjoyed the waterfalls scene for a short moment only, I was left with the impression that my God is a big God. He has a special gift waiting for me at the end of the journey. What made the greatest impact on me on this entire adventure, though, is the trekking experience. I had two slippery falls in the mud. But it was okay with me. Surely, even in the Christian life, we experience falls in our walk with God. But He gives us the grace to stand again and walk the path despite trials and difficulties.

Survivor. Conqueror.  Warrior. I felt I am all this and more. Not by my own strength, but only by the grace of God.

That Empty Chair

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Christmas is fast approaching and there’s an empty chair on our table this season.

Being away from my husband again brings back memories of the void he left. That empty space on the bed, the vacant chair at the dining table, the fewer clothes in the cabinet, the single toothbrush left at the canister, the pillows that will not be slept over for a while. Those and much more are the things he left behind.

Despite the void, I know that the emptiness is but temporary. For our hope is in God who alone can fill that empty space in our hearts. We, who anchor our faith in the Everlasting Father, rest in the assurance that He will provide us grace and strength to endure the trials of momentary separation. We thank the Lord for keeping us stronger than ever as husband and wife.

That’s why this Christmas, when there’s an empty chair that reminds me of my far-away husband, I’ll let Jesus sit on the chair and think that He holds us both together in His loving hands.

Back to UAE, Paalam Pinas!

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No, it’s not me who’s leaving the country. It’s my husband who is due to work in Abu Dhabi.

Hopefully, things will turn out good for both of us despite the distance. We’ll be spending our last two days with family before he departs for UAE. Much as we would like to visit close friends, we are already pressed for time as his flight is on Saturday. Will you cover him in your prayers so that the travelling mercies of the Lord will be upon him?

Paalam muna sa iyo hon. May skype at calls naman. After a year, we’ll see each other again. Pakuha ka ng selfie dyan sa Aldar HQ building ha. May God be with you and may you find favor in your work there. ♥

A Year’s Worth of Togetherness

Last July 2014 marked the homecoming of my husband from Dubai. It has been more than a year now that we are physically together here in the Philippines. We’ve gone back to doing simple pleasures together like dining out and doing the weekly grocery. He has fixed things in the house being the handyman that he is. His presence added the joy and laughter brought about by his funny, amusing ways.

But all these and more will come to a halt momentarily. Unforeseen circumstances in his current job brought about a change in plans that he has come home for good. Reality bites! Though he intended to find new employment locally, the opportunities can be found where else but in the overseas.

So the decision has been made. For our family’s future’s sake, the sacrifice has to be faced courageously but prayerfully to be apart all over again. Perhaps, this time around, things will be a bit easier for us. If there’s any consolation, his unlimited contract allows him to come home every year. That’s something to look forward to.

May the goodness and mercy of the Lord be upon us as we embark on another challenge in our family life…God bless everyone!

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