MikeMisce 2013 Year Ender

"When I realize that it is not God who is in my debt but I who am in His great debt, then doesn't all become gift? For He might not have." - Ann Voskamp

Creating and watching this video made us realize more how good and gracious is our God. 2013 hasn't been the easiest year for us, in fact, it was the hardest in the 3 years of our marriage. However, our God doesn't waste anything. He never allows us to go through afflictions without a purpose. He is a God who is passionately, crazy in love with us that He wants ONLY HIM to be the first place in our hearts. He is a God who cares more about our character than our physical comfort. He is a God who gives us gifts. This year, He taught us to be grateful. To humbly receive and thank Him for every single gift that He has given us... and that include those that didn't even look like gifts in our worldly eyes.

It was only when we look back that we see, that every trial and challenge were GRACE. His Grace to lead us to the path that He wants us to go. His Grace to discipline us that we may experience to depend on Him alone. His Grace that He "gives and takes away" that we may see what are the real important things in life (and they are not things!). His Grace that we may find joy in what really matters, those that we fail to see most of the time. ALL IS GRACE after all... From the rising to the setting of the sun... and all that's in between is GRACE... gifts, that He is not obligated to give, yet, in His great love, He chooses to FREELY GIVE every single day to undeserving people like us. ALL IS GRACE. All we can say is, "Thank you LORD!"

To everyone who became a part of our 2013, thank you for the gift that you are! To everyone whom we have hurt, we ask for your forgiveness. May our eyes be more open to see the goodness of our Lord a midst all the trials and struggles, and may we all receive the gifts that He has prepared for us this 2014 with a grateful heart!


Saved, Living, and Standing on Grace Alone,
- Mike & Misce

A Christmas Longing

Sometimes, it is during this season when the things that we lack in our lives magnify. There's a certain pain in the chest when you see that your friends or relatives have what you don't or what you've been longing and praying for, for so long. Material things such as gadgets, expensive clothes etc... or it maybe the huge house where the family reunion was held, for some it maybe the kind of food that other families shared during the Noche Buena, or a loved one that won't be joining the celebration this year. For me, it's the children running around insanely not knowing which present to open first... How that kind of longing steals the joy of the season.

We've been so busy the last two days before Christmas and the Christmas day itself that I didn't have the time to spend some quality moment with the Lord. And that was it, it has always been that way. Whenever I turn my eyes away from Jesus, I feel that longing... the feeling of not having enough and everything that I felt was lacking in my life magnifies. The day after Christmas, finally, I had the chance to sit down quietly and pour out my heart before Him. As always, when I focus my eyes again upon His face, everything else shrinks down, blurs... and I see Him alone. Magnified. And just like that everything turns back to its proper place. I know, I have Enough. He is enough... In the first place, the Truth is... Christmas is enough.

He invites us to come to Him as a lowly, despised, shepherd with nothing to offer to Him but our hearts. A heart that is ready to receive Him, His gifts. A heart that is ready to witness His glory. Focusing my eyes on Him lets me see the gifts that He has already given... my life, my husband, my family... my relationship with Him. Above all, His gift of eternal life... my heart overflows with gratitude.

My Christmas this year. :)
I'd love to read how you spent yours. :)

IG Hiatus -- Again!

It's almost Christmas! And the spirit just gets warmer and warmer! Circumstances try to steal my joy this season, and everyday is a constant battle of choosing to be joyful despite and inspite every "sigh" moment. Giving thanks has always been my road back to the presence of my loving Father. Continuously writing His gifts everyday in my gratitude journal changes my heart every time. I'm writing a blog about my "One Thousand Gifts" journey soon.

I just got back on instagram the other day after more than a week of processing with the Lord. After my social media fast, after reading some helpful articles, and through the encouraging messages and comments of my #SheReadsTruth sisters, I became so sure of what the Lord exactly wants me to do. I went back to posting my journal pages again in IG and it felt so right. I know God was pleased that I have sought His heart and decided to obey. It's just so ironic that after I have been so empowered to going back to this ministry, I started having problems again with my phone, and this time, Mike decided once and for all to get rid of it. So last night, we sold my phone. There was a bit of sadness because I have no idea when it will be replaced (I don't want to pressure my husband because he has been thinking of so many things lately). Aside from that, I just got back in IG, and now I have to take a break again. But I know that the Lord always has a purpose. I am also 100% sure that He wants me to continue this ministry so I have faith that He will provide me with a new one - in His time. I just feel confident and secure this time, unlike two weeks ago, I was pouting when Mike first thought of selling it.

Looking at the brighter side, I know that this is the perfect time for me to be more active in writing in this blog page. I must admit, it's easier to post in IG than to compose a blog entry and that is why most of the time I feel lazy. But I am not letting my circumstance to stop me from doing what the Lord calls me to do -- and that is to share my life -- my struggles, failures, and triumphs in my walk with Him. In His perfect time, I know that He will provide!

So having said all of that, actually the purpose of this post is to let my instagram followers, friends, #ShereadsTruth sisters know that I will be on IG Hiatus again! This time, it's really indefinite! I will be more active here in my blog page and I am hoping to connect with you all through facebook too! Also, I won't have the chance to do this through IG so I'd like to take this opportunity to greet you all a

Enjoy your moments with your families and friends, 
and most of all, let us make room in our hearts for the 
coming of our Savior and Lord! 

My Avodah

It's the third day since I posted my struggle here in my blog (if you haven't read it, you may click this link) and I have received so many words of encouragement and love from my sisters in Christ from different parts of the world. I am so thankful and blessed by how the Lord used them to speak to me. I have also felt their prayers covering me... and Wow! No words can ever describe the feeling! So, thank you, to every single soul who took the time to leave an encouragement here, in facebook, and in instagram.

I have also read comments and messages from some women sharing their similar struggles. Somehow it's a relief to know that my case isn't an isolated case, and I also realized more the importance of having a community of women where we can share our struggles, and encourage one another. SheReadsTruth has been such an enormous blessing in bringing women like us together.

So I've decided yesterday through the Holy Spirit's leading that I am going back to writing and sharing my journal pages again, though I must admit that I still felt a bit anxious about messing up again. In my prayer, I told God that I need His guidance because I wasn't sure how to start again and that I need Him to search and purify the intentions of my heart.

James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

True enough, today, the Lord led me to a blog post written by Ann Voskamp in 2010. Her post has helped me a lot today in my reflection. I think every blogger who is struggling with the same struggles that I had should read it! I am sharing my journal entry today which I've written based on my reflections from her blog posts. I am also sharing her links below so you can read them on your own. May you be blessed as much as I was! And may the Lord meet you wherever you are through Ann's words... and hey, don't forget to read the Blogger's Prayer at the end of it! :)

Here are the links to Ann Voskamp's blog:

My Christmas Miracle

My very first Jesse Tree is almost finished. But no, the season isn't over yet... and I know God's miracle still continues to unfold as His big day arrives. But I can't help but to write how His presence overwhelmed me today. After a whole week of my emotional roller coaster with the Lord, and after I have just divulged it in my blog entry last night, I woke up today with such a calm spirit. Nannette (Candacejo) and Deirdra's comments were used by the Lord to speak to my heart along with other sisters in Christ who have shared the same struggle and prayed with me.

Through today's SRT Devo, the Lord made me realize that I have been living in guilt and fear the last few days. The enemy has used this fear to hinder me from doing the works that God has called me to do. Yes, the Lord has brought me to the wilderness, to speak tenderly to my heart. It was also in the wilderness where God allowed John the Baptist to live all his life to make his spirit strong before he was sent to minister to Israel. I feel that today, the Lord is calling me to go back and do the work that He has prepared me to do beforehand (Ephesians 2:10), this time, with a weaker flesh, and a stronger Spirit -- dependent on HIM ALONE.

Luke 1:74-75 "...That we being delivered from the hand of our enemies might serve Him WITHOUT FEAR in HOLINESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS before Him all our days.

It is His will for me to serve Him all the days of my life. And He gave me gifts to use for the Glory of His Kingdom, and not to keep them, not to shrink with them in fear of making a mistake. Yet, in His goodness, He consecrates me through these emotional tests and trials so I may serve Him in Holiness and Righteousness.

"The miracle of Christmas is that you get more than proof of God's existence. You get the experience of God's presence." - Ann Voskamp (Day 20 - "The Greatest Gift" Advent Devotional).

I mentioned in my previous post that I started this month praying for Him to make this Advent Season a meaningful one... My first Christmas to really focus on Him, the real reason for the season and not on the rush of the world. Just when I thought I've lost it, He meets me right where I am. He taught me to let go of the weight and the need to perform... He taught me to rest in Him... To wait with Him... This is my Christmas miracle, to feel  Jesus removing the heaviness in my heart and replacing it with His weightless grace...

"Open your heart to the miracle of grace. He will prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord." - Ann Voskamp

My Magnificat

My relationship with the Lord hasn't been going well lately. I remember that at the beginning of the Advent Season, I prayed to Him that I never want to miss Him this year. For some reason, I didn't understand why in the middle of my journey in seeking Him this season, He seemed so distant from me. I was thinking that maybe this is His way of revealing Himself. True enough, little by little, He began revealing hidden sins in my heart.

It all started when I felt stressed and pressured about not keeping up with the current devotions that I was doing. Then I noticed that during my quiet times, I felt like I was just squeezing my mind with what I will be writing in my journal rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to let the wisdom overflow like how it used to. That's when I started to loose my passion in writing. My quiet times with the Lord have not been as meaningful as they used to since then.

It was also timely that my phone has been having a lot of issues lately that my husband decided to dispose it. My phone is so important to me because I use it to post my daily journal in instagram. So I began to understand, clearly, the Lord is taking them away from me -- my phone and my passion in writing my journal.

At Day 15 of "The Greatest Gift" Advent Devotional, Ann Voskamp wrote:

"You know you have an idol whenever you have to perform. You know you have a Baal that needs to be cut down whenever you cut yourself down. Whenever you slash yourself, you have an idol that needs to be slashed down." 

That day I realized, the cause of all my stress is trying to perform. The sins that the Lord revealed to me -- The sins of Idolatry and Pride. I wasn't even aware that these sins have been infesting me. Trying in my own effort to make good journal entries, watching out to see how many likes and comments, misplacing my priorities... turning my heart away from my First Love and bowing down to my Baal -- myself, my ego.

I felt ashamed of myself, but I see the goodness of the Lord. In His great love for me, He never lets me go too far away from Him. He never allows any lesser god to replace Him in my heart. And in today's #SheReadsTruth Devotion, God showed me the beautiful example of Mary. The woman who was given the most prestigious role in the world, yet did not take the center stage, but rather humbled herself down and acknowledged herself as a lowly servant of the Lord. Inspired by her, I wrote my own Magnificat to the Lord.

 I humbly ask you (my dear reader) to please pray for me, as I continue to seek Him and His leading in this season of my life. Thank you very much! ALL Glory to Him ALONE!

"But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there... She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, 
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt." 
- Hosea 3:14-15