He Surprises!

A month ago, I received an email from a lovely woman from instagram, her name is Sheila. In her email she said that the Lord was leading her to bless me with the Jesus Calling Devotional Book by Sarah Young. I was so excited because it was my first time to ever receive that kind of email from someone that I haven't personally known. We've also had a few chitchats and I was really happy to find a new sister in Christ through her.  After the last email that I sent, she was not able to email me back to confirm if she was able to mail the book to the address that I gave her. Few weeks have passed, and I haven't heard from her, so I thought that maybe she became busy, or that maybe something happened. I didn't want to send her an email to follow up because I was shy to ask, and I knew that God knows the perfect plan. Still, I continued to pray every night for The Jesus Calling Devotional Book.

A few weeks later, another sweet and kind woman, a SheReadsTruth sister, named Amy, messaged me to let me know that she wants to bless me with another book that I have also been praying for. (This is going to be a different story, and I will share it on my next blog post). I was again very surprised! Amazed by how the Lord touches the hearts of people to meet our needs -- even from across the ocean! Amy confirmed to me that she already mailed the book, and I was very, very excited!

In less than a week after she sent the package, I received a notification from the post office that they don't deliver international parcels door-to-door. Because of some Customs procedure, I have to pick it up personally. Due to my husband's schedule and a holiday, I had to wait for 6 days so he can drive me to the post office. Believe me, it was the longest 6 days of my life! :)

So Monday night, I messaged Amy to inform her that I am picking up her package the following morning. This morning, my husband was as excited as I was when we approached the window that will release my package.

To my excitement after I got the package, I didn't even check the sender's name and address (even as I was holding it in this picture). I didn't even want to open it there.

 We were almost at the exit door when I noticed that the sender's return address was Oklahoma! The package that I was expecting was supposed to come from Tennessee!

Then I immediately remembered Sheila, the woman who wanted to bless me with the Jesus Calling Devotional. I was really speechless and in awe by how the Lord moves! He surprised me today! (Well, He made me, so He knows how much I love surprises!) :) That means that I should be expecting another package to arrive anytime this week, the one from Amy!

On our way home, I can't get over of what just happened. I felt like the Lord has given me a big hug today. He knows my heart. He knows that there are times when I am tempted to doubt if He really wants to give me the desires of my heart especially when I feel that there are so many big prayers that I've been waiting for Him to answer. Today, I feel like He wants to tell me, that He doesn't want to withhold any good thing from me. As long as what I ask of Him is according to His will, I don't have to doubt if He would want to give it to me, all I have to do is ask. I am His daughter, and He delights in granting the things that would make me happy, whether big or small. I just need to trust that He will only give me what He knows is good for me -- at the moment. My Jesus, you are such a sweet, loving Father. 

Thank you Father! 
Thank you for using Sheila as an instrument to make me feel your love today! 
May you return this blessing to her a hundred and thousand folds!
To HIM be all the Honor, Glory, and Praises!

"But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!" - John 15:7


The "Ball of Fire" Experience

Last week, my husband and I went to the mall to buy our groceries. I saw a stationery booth where i found this cute little journal notebook. I really liked it and I couldn't put it down. So when my husband asked me if I wanted to buy it, I said yes, then I put it in the cart.

While Mike was roaming around the fruits section, I couldn't stop looking at the journal notebook. In my mind, I knew I liked the design, but I really didn't know to what I would use it for. It wasn't the kind of notebook that I wanted to use for my Bible Study or the Gratitude Journal that I am planning to start. I really didn't know why I was buying it, (I am the kind of person who doesn't like buying stuffs I don't need). Anyhow, I just told myself that maybe  it was too cute not to buy.

As we approached the counter to pay for our items, we were pleasantly welcomed by this cheerful and perky Cashier. She was very different from the other Cashiers that were present around. She was really nice and very enthusiastic. When she was about to punch the journal, she said this comment in a very lighthearted way, "Mam, nakita nio na po ang loob nito? Ang ganda naman po ng Diary!" ("Mam, have you seen how the pages inside look like? This Diary is so lovely"). Immediately after she said that, I felt something inside my chest ignited! Something was blazing inside! My heart was beating so fast! I remembered Crystal McVea, author of the book Waking Up in Heaven described her similar experience as a "nudge". I cannot find any other words to describe the feeling, but a "Ball of Fire" experience! It felt surreal but so incredible! I was speechless for a few seconds and Mike noticed. He asked me what was wrong. I told him that I felt something. He looked worried because he thought that I was sick or not feeling well. But when I told him that I felt that God was telling me to give the notebook to this perky Cashier, he immediately told me that I must obey.

I was tempted to ignore what God was asking me to do at that moment for two reasons: First, I am really not used to talking to people that I do not know. Second, I just didn't know what to do or what to say! But as I imagined myself leaving the counter without obeying, I knew I will not have peace. And I also felt that I was going to miss out on something. So I looked at her name on her I.D, and asked her, "Rowena, pano ko pwedeng ibigay to sa'yo?" (Rowena, how can I give this to you?) I asked her because I knew that Cashiers are not allowed to keep any merchandise in their possession while they are on duty. She looked very surprised, and she asked "Mam, bakit po?" (Why mam?) And this was it, in my mind I didn't want to answer her question because I didn't want her to think that I am crazy. I mean, not everyone understands the truth about the Holy Spirit and how He works. But I answered her anyway, I said, "Sabe ni Lord ibigay ko daw sa'yo tong notebook eh." ("The Lord asked me to give this notebook to you.") After I said that, I saw her trying to hold back the tears in her eyes, and with a stuttering voice, she asked, "Mam, Christian po kayo?" ("Mam, are you a Christian?"). I smiled and said "Yes". I saw in her that she was as overwhelmed as I was even while she was telling me to just leave it in their Customer Service booth, she could't even concentrate on what she was saying.

Before I left it in the Customer Service booth, I wrote her a note saying:
Dear Rowena,

Thank you for being so cheerful in serving your customers. God wants you to know that He is proud of what you are doing, and He loves you.

 I didn't know why I wrote that. Those words just came out flowing as I obeyed. I didn't know Rowena. I have no idea if she is a Christian or not. I also didn't know what was going on in her life at that very moment. I didn't know why she became very emotional when I mentioned The Lord, when she was very perky and cheerful when she first approached us. But this is what I know:  There were days when I, myself have experienced being downcast and low-spirited without other people knowing. And even if I just spend most of my time at home, I am so astonished by how God makes a way to uplift me and reassure me that He loves me. Sometimes, through a an unexpected text message from a friend, or sometimes through an anonymous email telling me that God is proud of what I am doing and He loves me. That's why I have no doubt, that night, it was my turn to be used by the Lord to let her daughter, Rowena feel His love, comfort, and appreciation.

I have read once, that we, Christians, are the hands and feet of Jesus in this fallen world. It is through us that He will let others (believers or unbelievers) experience His amazing love. What a wonderful privilege that is! And I was right, I could have had missed out on something had I not obeyed His leading --AN INCOMPARABLE JOY! That night, I slept with a huge smile on my face and an overflowing heart thanking God for allowing me to have that incredible experience -- an amazing encounter with"The Ball of Fire" -- God Himself, the Holy Spirit who lives inside the heart of His children.

To HIM ALONE  be ALL the Honor, Glory, and Praises!

This is the same as the journal notebook that God asked me to gave her.
I bought another copy to take pictures and give to a friend.

Do you have any similar experience? 
Please feel free to share your story in the comments section, 
e-mail me, or post the link of your blog post. 
 I  would really love to read them! :)

Every Season is a Gift

Recently, some of my relatives and friends have been asking what's keeping me busy these days. What are my plans and what I've been doing in the last few months. It's been a while since the Lord called me to be a stay home wife, seven months to be exact and I must admit, being someone who is not used to not being busy, I never thought that I would actually appreciate this kind of set up.

I spend most of my days home alone as husband leaves for work in the afternoon. Since we do not have kids yet, I only have a handful of wife duties and chores to finish before he comes home. And yes, I do have a lot of  free alone time. This allows me do my daily Bible Study, Quiet Time, and Journal Writing without interruption (I will be writing more of the details of my quiet time in my next post).  It also gives me time to enjoy the things that I have always loved to do (which I lost passion about when I became so busy with work and business) like reading, blogging, listening to music, playing my guitar, and graphic designing.

Some would ask if I don't get bored having most of my time home alone. My social life revolves around my new found sisters in Christ through the #SheReadsTruth Community. They are such lovely women who have helped me a lot in my walk with the Lord. I also have my Church Discipleship Groups who we (husband and I)  meet every Sunday. Occasionally, some friends would visit me at home for a little chit chat. I also catch up with friends through social media. Overall, I would say that my life now is simpler, less stressful, and definitely happier!

Some of my friends would tell me that I am so blessed to have all the time in the world to do my quiet time and Bible Study without worrying about getting ready for work or taking care of kids. Before, I used to tell myself, "if only we already have babies". I used to cry out to the Lord with hopelessness and frustration in my heart in this area of my life that I have been praying for, for so long. I have always called this season of my life as "The Waiting Season". Waiting for the babies... waiting for answers to my prayers... waiting for our dreams to be fulfilled... waiting for the season of pruning to end... waiting.. waiting... But as time went by,  the Lord has shown me a different perspective.

I now understand why God took all of the other things that kept me busy in the past.  God wanted me and Him to spend more moments together while I am continuing to grow and understand His love through His Word. Yes, because He gave me more time to spend reading the Bible, I have learned to fall deeply in love with His Word. It is through reading the Bible that I have learned His Character, His promises, His purpose for me, His wonderful plans for my life, and His deep love for me. In my alone time at home, I wasn't really alone. I felt like God isolated me from everything else so that I can grow my relationship with Him. I found myself telling stories with Him, sharing my dreams with Him, laughing with Him, crying out to Him, sometimes pouring out  my emotions to Him when I'm upset with my husband, with anyone else, or with myself. It's a wonderful experience every time. Even in my "not so good" mood, He always finds a way to comfort me and touch my heart. I have never felt closer to Him than now... in this season.

The other day, while I was taking a bath, something popped up in my head: Wait a minute, this isn't just a waiting season! This season is actually my 'Intimate Growing Season with Him'. I have learned enough from my past experiences (and choices) as a single-young-adult that when I rush things, I am the one missing out on God's best. So I decided that rather than rushing to the next season of my life, I might as well enjoy this season where I am right now! This is a season in my life that I would never get back the moment He gives us the babies that we've been praying for! Indeed, every season is a gift. And God's gifts to me right now are my uninterrupted moments with Him, joyful and romantic moments spent with my husband as we continue to become closer and in love with God and with each other, the opportunity to serve in the ministry and to explore my creativity enjoying the things that I love to do without worrying about other things.

Instead of praying with a hopeless and frustrated heart, God taught me to appreciate this wonderful season in my life knowing that He alone knows the perfect time for everything. To Him be all the Honor, Glory, and Praises!