God is Fighting For Us!

Yesterday was a long day of emotional roller coaster ride! The day just didn't start right (including my quiet time) and the rest of the day felt heavy for both me and my husband. Mike has been thinking of so many things lately, and he was irritable the whole day. I usually give him space whenever that happens, I know my husband isn't perfect and I understand that the responsibilities that he is facing right now are not easy. However, yesterday I wasn't like that. My pride crept into me, and my ugly heart dominated me with impatience. I didn't verbally disrespect Mike, but my thoughts did! No matter how I prayed from time to time, I felt like drowning in my emotions and I couldn't grasp for air!

It was late afternoon when it dawned upon me that this isn't just an ordinary emotional struggle. It was an overwhelming spiritual attack! And what's the best thing to do in the middle of a spiritual battle and feeling defeated (both my husband and I), but to call for reinforcements! As soon as I identified the attack, I sent a text message to my sisters in Christ asking them to pause and pray for me and Mike. I played the song "In Jesus Name" by Darlene Zscech and this part of the song gave me goosebumps:

"God is fighting for us! Pushing back the darkness!
Lighting up the Kingdom that cannot be shaken!
And we will shout it out, shout it out! "

In less than 5 minutes after I did these, I received replies that my sisters were praying for us, and suddenly, my husband who hasn't spoken to me almost the whole day approached me with a gentle tone, wept, and apologized for the way that he has acted the whole day. My hard, proud heart, melted at that moment. We prayed together, rebuking the enemy attack IN THE NAME OF JESUS, and we soon started to feel God's peace in our hearts! Never underestimate the Power of Prayer and especially the Power of an Army of Prayer Warriors!

I was reminded from that experience that the spiritual battle should never be taken lightly. I should continuously be aware especially now that the Lord has entrusted a flock of His sheep for me and Mike to disciple. He (the enemy) will not just watch as we harvest souls for God's Kingdom, he will always be in opposition and our marriage will be his number one target. We should surrender to Him every aspect of our lives, everyday in prayer! Wear the FULL ARMOR OF GOD first thing in the morning! Above all, I should always have faith that GOD is still STRONGER than any principality in the unseen world!

God is fighting for us! He has always been! Even during the time when I didn't know Him yet! He fought for me! He pursued me even when I was still running away from Him! He set me free from slavery! He set my feet on solid ground... and I know He will always protect me!

Prioritizing Priorities

A few days ago, during our late night "Walk & Talk", Mike asked if I can start helping him again with the online work that he has to do in our business. In the nature of our business which is Multi-Level Marketing, this online work isn't like a regular job. This online work means building our business organizations in different parts of the world through online communication and mentoring. I must admit that I really got excited at first. This kind of work is not new to me since I've done this in the past, and I have to say that I have put my heart so much into it that it became hard for me to give it up when the Lord called me to be a stay home wife. On the other hand, I also felt a bit anxious. I know the responsibilities and the stress that comes with it and I am not sure if I am ready to face them again. I also felt afraid that I might mess up again in handling my priorities like I did in the past.

In obedience to God's call, I've been a stay home wife for almost a year. I have enjoyed this season of growing in my relationship with God and in intentionally embracing my role as a wife. Many times, God assured me that I am in the exact place where He wants me to be, but I also know that part of my God-given role is to submit and to be a help mate to my husband. I know that this new (but old) responsibility that my husband is assigning to me is from the Lord as well. So after we talked, I prayed about it, poured out my heart to God and asked for His wisdom and guidance. Amazingly, God revealed His answers! These are the things that God impressed into my heart:


RENEW MY MIND [Romans 12:2]
- Set my mind in the right perspective as early as now! I'm doing this work in obedience to God that I must submit and be a help mate to my husband. Unlike before, I am NOT going to do this to feed my own ego -- NOT to prove myself to anyone, NOT to establish my own identity and NOT to prove to others that I am not "living in my husband's shadow". Because the truth is, THERE IS NO SUCH THING! My husband and I are ONE. Period. I am only doing this because Mike asked me to help him. Therefore, I shouldn't set my heart on it. I should stop whenever the Lord, through Mike tells me to stop regardless of how much time and effort I've put into it or how much I've accomplished.

- God made it clear to me that His Will and Purpose for my life is to:

- Anything that I need to do outside these 5 bullets are just next in my priority list and should NEVER consume the Best of my time and energy. To help Mike through this online work is just "one of the other things" that I do. It should never be the center of my life, nor be counted as my greatest accomplishment compared to my relationship with God,  loving and serving my husband, making my home a warm place to live in, and serving my biological and spiritual family.

God also emphasized the specific ways on how I can put these prioritizing in action. Some of them I've already been doing, and some of them I need to intentionally put into action:

- In one the books that I've read, I learned that for every new responsibility, something must be given up in order to make a space for fruitfulness. In my case, it is giving up a few hours of sleep so I can spend time in nurturing my relationship with God through reading and studying God's Word (#SheReadsTruth has been a great blessing to me!) first thing in the morning, before I get caught up in the busyness of my day! The Full Armor of God is my protection against the fiery arrows of the enemy! When I don't spend time in the Word of God first thing in the morning, I allow myself to be vulnerable against the attacks of Satan! It's like engaging in a battle naked!  It takes (extra) Grace for me to wake up early! It's been my weakness until now, and I continue to struggle from time to time, but I understand how vital this is that I ask God the night before to help me overcome my flesh and wake up early. This is the most important of all, because apart from Him, I'm going to surely mess up with everything else! This also helps me to make sure that NOTHING takes God's first place in my heart.

- This helps me not to get caught up with the demands of my online work and neglect my household duties. It's easy to rationalize especially to tell my husband that "I am closing a sale or a big transaction", but then again, if I neglect ANY of my Top 5 Priority, whatever accomplishment(s) I had with my online work still counts as USELESS!

- Next to God, Mike deserves the BEST of my time and energy. Outside our home, is like a battle field for him and he arrives exhausted with all the physical, mental, and emotional stress that he has to go through to fulfill his God-given role of being a provider. The last thing that I want is for him to come home to a wife who is even more worn out and burn out than him! I rest my hand from all the computer works (and journaling) so that I can prepare for his bed time massage. I also try to take at least 30-45mins nap just to feel refreshed. I make sure that he finds me in the living room  as soon as he enters the door to welcome him with a warm smile, embrace, and a kiss. I want to make him feel that no matter what happened outside the home, no matter how stressful his life out there is, he has a wife that is ready to serve him and to pamper him. He often tells me how much he can't wait to come home everyday. Again, I can only be this kind of wife to him as long as I am connected to the VINE -- GOD, the only source of this kind of love. When my relationship with God is not okay, I am the total opposite of everything that I have described. It is only through total surrender to God and the power of the Holy Spirit that I can overcome my selfishness and become the wife that God wants me to be.

- This is something that I have just learned and I am continuing to realize how important it is! The Bible says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." To make sure that I am leading my heart to its rightful place, I have to be careful in where I am putting my time, talent, and energy. So with God's guidance, I have decided how much time and how many days I will allocate to this online work that Mike assigns to me:

I will only do this online work 2-3 hours a day every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (as long as Mike is not at home). The rest of my days will be spend with:

*SUNDAY - Sabbath Day. A day to Worship and Serve God.
*TUESDAY - "Tuesdate" spend the whole day with Mike, plan dates,or just do something fun together making sure that we put our marriage on top of our priorities.
*SATURDAY - Prepare and study my topic for my Sunday Small Group Session. This is also a day when I can explore my creativity! Blog, paint, journal, read books, play the guitar and sing, have online fellowship with friends, rest, etc... This way I'll never feel deprived of doing the things that I love!

I know that every woman's situation is different. Some have kids to take care of, some are committed to an 8 hour job. Whatever each and everyone's situation is, knowing and obeying God's will and purpose for us makes all the difference. I believe that it is the secret to living a full life.

""No matter what we want or what society tells us to want, 
or what anyone else wants for us, we as 
Women After God's Own Heart, 
we are to WANT WHAT GOD WANTS." 
- Elizabeth George [A Wife After God's Own Heart]

Love Vouchers for Mike

This year's Valentine's Day for husband and me has been simple, yet very special. At around 12 midnight of February 14, Mike surprised me with a set of colored pens that I've been wanting to have. I was so happy that he chose these pens as a gift to me instead of flowers or chocolates (like he used to do in the past), not that I didn't want them, it's just that I've been praying for these Staedler Pens and I felt really special that even if I was a bit grumpy the day before, the Lord used Mike to answer my prayer! So sweet!

So what was my Valentine's Gift to him? Being a stay home wife and having no chance to go to the mall and buy something, I had to think of a way to do what I can with what I have and still make sure that he will feel very special that day. So with some ideas from Pinterest, God's grace of creativity and passion for using Photoshop, and ample alone time at home, I created my personalized Love Vouchers for him!

Mike's love language has always been "Acts of Service", so I figured out that there's no way that he's not going to like this gift! I've listed down all the things that he loves me doing for him and I've decided that I'm going to pamper him that day! And so I did, and he was so happy!

I'm guessing that his favorite of all the vouchers that he availed was the "Whole Day Internet Break for Misce - Unlimited Attention To You Only" ... Haha! It was the most challenging for me! But nothing compares to the joy of letting him know how special he is and making him feel that next to the Lord, he is the most important person in my life and he deserve the best of my time, energy, effort, and love. This is my way of expressing my gratitude to God for giving me a husband like him. :)

My Strength and My Song

Towards the end of last week I felt a bit sad and dissapointed with myself because I haven't been a good steward of my time lately. I felt defeated by my flesh for not waking up earlier than my husband, for not having the passion to give my best in doing my household chores, and for spending too much time in facebook. I really hate myself when I am like that because I feel irresponsible and very unproductive. I also felt ashamed before the Lord because I've acknowledged to Him that my time is ALL HIS, and this is what happened.

During the worship service yesterday and during my afternoon quiet time, I poured out my heart to Him and admitted that I cannot do this on my own. I cannot win this constant battle with my flesh apart from Him! Thank God that His grace is always sufficient to those who cry out to Him. He spoke to me through this verse:

"...I will trust and will not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and my song..." - Isaiah 12:2

This is the first time that I actually encountered a verse that describes God as my SONG. And I couldn't take my eyes off of that word. Being a person who loves music, a song creates a different impact to me. My God knows this, and I love that He chose this verse to speak to me. So this is what I wrote as I meditated on this verse:

This morning, a Monday, as usual, I had a hard time waking up early again. But this is the verse that I've held on to, My God is my Strength and my Song! And He made me jump off of my feet with enthusiasm more than any of my favorite songs does! Praise God! :) 

God is Light

I remember how my husband was not comfortable in opening the curtains of our sliding glass window. Our curtains are thick and dark colored that we have no idea what's happening outside the four corners of our condo unit when it's closed. For years, we've lived this way, only the fluorescent lights illuminates our little home. Until towards the last few weeks of 2013, my husband suddenly decided to open the curtains and finally let the sunlight in! I told him how happy I was for what he did and how seeing the sunshine, the blue sky and the clouds in our window refreshes my soul and increases my joy!

I was overwhelmed after reading today's #SheReadsTruth Devo! I am so astonished with how God, our Father of Lights! The Light Himself, refreshes my soul all the time -- much, much better than the sunlight does! His glorious light illuminates my soul from inside out! I never have to hide, because nothing can be hidden from Him! There is no darkness in Him at all! He is pure, righteous, and Holy! His light guides my way! Never again will I ever walk in darkness! Never! Praise God! :)

"Light is painful to the eyes long accustomed to darkness. But soon the Light brings great joy for the soul perceives deliverance from the evils which it mourned." - C.H. Spurgeon