MOTHERhood, the true essence of a woman

this is dedicated to all the MOTHERS who protect the sanctity of life and the rights of the children.  no beauty title is too prestigious to ever match the noble sacrifices that you have made.

“Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her;

Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,

and let her works bring praise to the city gate.”  Proverbs 31:28-31

when i was a kid, i had this fascination with beauty contests. i can still remember that miss universe beauty pageant in manila in 1974.  Ms. Spain won the title, but i remembered Ms. Finland was my favorite. and who can ever forget Ms. Aruba?  however, my favorite segment was the question and answer part. one could immediately make an intelligent guess who would win the coveted title and wear the prestigious crown, after the contestants answered their respective questions.

i watched in awe as year after year,  fashion transformed from the conservative and traditional, to the more hip and sassy, especially the swimsuits that allowed more skin exposure now.  but my fascination waned as i grew older.  instead, it took a gradual turn into a critical assessment of what a woman really is.  afterall,  still the top question which persists until this very day is “what really is the essence of a woman?”

time is indeed a great teacher.  there are valuable lessons that it taught me, that school never did.  such as the answer to that question.  yes, in biology, we were taught about the female anatomy. and how we differ from the male species. we have a womb that can nurture another human being even before he or she is born.  that alone is one of nature’s greatest wonders.

but why do women have wombs, and men don’t?

it is predestination that women shall cradle life the moment it is conceived.  not a week after, or a month, or after delivery.  it is the woman’s divine task to carry that precious child in her womb.  that child whom God knew even before he or she was formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5).

it is a great responsibility to be a mother.  but He did so because not only did He physically equip them to bear children; He also blessed them with such tenderness and strength of character, enough to radiate to their offsprings and enable them to thrive in a harsh world where they would eventually be born to. 

it is a privilege to be a mother.  because there is no joy as pure and innocent as when her baby smiles back at her.  no candy as sweet as a little girl’s  kisses.  no summer as warm as a young boy’s embrace. no melody as soothing as the laugher of children.  

it is an honor for a woman to be a mother.  because God could have chosen men to bear children.  but did not.  maybe because men are better providers and protectors.  so He trusted women to do that very special task instead.   a trust to be valued and sanctified.  and therefore, makes abortion the ultimate betrayal, regardless of how long the child is in the womb.

i understand now how much Sarah longed for a child of her own, and was fortunate enough in her old age, to be blessed by God with children, as numerous as the stars in the sky.  i understand now how my dear friend, Ruth and my sister, Ella prayed for a child so hard, and are now blessed to have become the mother to JJ and Igi Boy respectively . i understand now, how Mommy, sacrificed her dreams, in order for us, her kids, to reach ours.  i understand now the pain of the pierced heart of Mama Mary, when Jesus was crucified.

truly the answer to what the true essence of a woman, can never be heard or seen in any beauty contest.  but only deep in the hearts of all mothers everywhere, biological or adoptive.  for a woman is at her prettiest when she wears the crown of motherhood on her head.

CORAZON AQUINO and the yellow ribbons

“The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.”  Psalms 64:10

tita cory President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino passed away this morning after her hard-fought battle with colon cancer.  much have already been said about her.  being the icon of  Philippine democracy  & People Power, as Ninoy’s wife, as Kris’ mom.  i could go on forever. 

the nation mourns not only the loss of an ex-president; but also its mother.

Tita Cory left a lasting legacy in Philippine history.  from  my perspective though, i see her as Ninoy’s strength and her Corychildren’s light during their darkest hours.   and when called for, she went beyond the needs of her family to fulfill a duty to a whole nation which, since then have become part of her extended family.  and up to her last breath, her faith in God was so strong that it radiated to the entire nation, regardless of political affiliation or religion.

thus was Tita Cory’s legacy in me.  she taught by her example that nothing is unbearable when we carry it with the cross of Christ in heart and mind.  although she was born rich and priveleged, she suffered more than her fair share.  but she accepted her fate with grace.  she embraced God’s will with loving trust.  she endured her sufferings with silence. 

Cory_Aquino

her faith in God lives on, long after she has gone.  it’s the one great lesson for each of us, that in whatever state we are, happy or sad, healthy or sick, persecuted or praised, rich or poor;  WE MUST PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.  for wherever our destiny takes us, only one thing is certain; the Lord is with us during the entire journey.  the same way He is now with Tita Cory on her way home… 

where angels welcome her with yellow ribbons praising her for a job well done and a life well-lived.

lopez-black-cherubs

  

miguel and the balance beam

“Train up  a child the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Balance_Beam

my grade school memories are happy and carefree.  but i never really thought that there will be valuable lessons that would be relevant to this era.  my fondest memories are already pushed back at the farthest end of the vault called my brain.  and most are worth pulling out once in a while.   one of them was the balance beam.

we usually had field days once every school year.  and during our fifth grade, our presentation showcased our ability to display grace and endurance as we struggle to keep from falling, and at the same time execute our repertoire.  i can still vividly remember how it required constant practice and deep concentration to stay on the narrow piece of wood and maintaince balance.  and if in case we fell, which we did countless times during rehearsals, we were also taught how to land safely and minimize injuries.

now as my husband and i are in the process of raising two teenaged kids, the skills that we learned from the balance beam have become very useful.  as it is, there is no manual on how to raise a child after we have given birth.  and up to now, there really is no effective step by step procedure on how to properly raise our children.  one step may work with one kid, but not with another.    apparently, there are as many ways as there are as many children.  for each is a unique person, and hence unique ways on how to take care of each individual. 

going back to the balance beam, taking care of our two kids is like walking on it.  to get on the balance beam, our deep concentration is a primary requisite.   our priorities must focus on their needs as human beings that have souls.  i think we’re pretty much okey with that.  but to maintain our balance requires constant practice.  either we would be too strict, that our kids would start to rebel against us; or we are too lenient and complascent that they would shoot off like firecrackers in different directions, but after the burst of splendid beauty, no longer knew where they headed.

angel%20bear

our youngest miguel is a special angel.  he is the shy and silent type.  he is intelligent.  he is witty.  he is funny when he wants to be.  he is sentimental and sensitive.  he has a bad temper, but he surely tries very hard to control it.  he loves to stay on the computer more than he wants to chat with us.  but we definitely love to watch movies together.   and starbucks too.  and it is his birthday today. 

we thank the Lord for bringing Miguel into our lives.  he is one of God’s greatest blessings to our family.   a gift that reminds us that life is a balance beam.  that we must constantly learn to keep our balance.  and if ever we make mistakes as parents and fall, we must climb back and do better next time.  together with our children, we should continue to tread the path that God has planned for us from the beginning of time.  God made us become parents and it is our duty to strive to be the best parents that we could ever be.  in doing so, we may offer back to Him two magnificent human beings worthy to be called His children. 

miguel

MOTHER

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.   And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:19-20

she carried you inside of her, 

that moment on she always cares.

she brought you out to see the world,

and she made sure she’s always there.

mother and child

 

 

 

she may be stout, she may be thin

she may be out , she may be  in.

she may be tough,  but if she’s  weak, 

eventually she’d stand and leap. 

she is a cool spring of joy

when they treat you like toy.

she is a ray of sunshine though

as raindrops of tears flow.

she clings to you like sticky glue

 when others make you feel blue.

and though it hurts, she’ll  let you go

 when it’s time for you to grow.

she always gives, though there is none.

 she would still share, when all is gone.

mother and child

 

 

 

 

the pain you feel, she’d feel it too.

and that heavy load, she’d take from you.

even though she can’t, she’ll swim for you. 

she’d drown for you, to rescue you.

mother won’t think twice, when worst may come;

to give her life so you may shine. 

rose

 

 

 

 

but there is one special mother, that’s greatest of all

she bore a dear Son so we won’t fall.

she loves Him so from concepcion to Cross

she’ll love Him forever; she loves Him the most. 

her son is dear Jesus our Savior and brother.

her sweet name is Mary, our Lady, our Mother. 

Mother Mary

(Roobee, happy mothers day to you too…)

it began as a flicker

“You are the light of the world…your light must shine before man so that they may see the goodness in your acts and give praise to your Heavenly Father.”  Matthew 5:14-16

when I was kid, my mom had that habit to pick out what she’d seen as my really bad traits and to smack them right into angry-womanmy face like a tennis ball.  it hurt really, really bad.  other than that, she also made it a point to find someone to compare me to.  and that someone, in her eyes, would always be better. that hurt even more.  but i always thought it might just be her way to shake out from me what could have been my best.  maybe she was forced to do that out of  love.  and for my own good.  if her intentions were just that, maybe she got what she wanted because somehow i made some remarkable achievements in school.  even though she never really showed she was proud of me at all, i think she really was. 

as i ventured into the real world, the manifestations of my emotional bruises caused by those constant ‘put downs’ became more evident.  i grew timid and self-conscious. i  felt comfortable only with those very close to me. to sum it all, my self-esteem was low, low, low.   indeed, those factors hampered the natural course of my growth as a person.  instead, i tried to stay in my cocoon, and restrained myself from growing my wings and fly. 

butterfly

but time has a way of transforming me.  it gave me the opportunity to meet people who somehow served as mirrors from whom i saw myself in a different light.  it took  me to places where i felt needed and useful.  it allowed me to gather valuable  experiences which became seeds of my self-worth that started to grow and bloom.  most of all, time slowly but surely became witness to the grand plan that my Maker destined for me to fulfill.

yellow-2lips1

now that i am older,  i have come to realize that my birth was never an accident.  and for whatever reason i am here where i am now, the Lord meant it to be.  the same can be said for all.  we are all of great value, no matter what our circumstances in life.  unless we give ourselves that DEFINITION which is true to how the Lord perceive us, only then shall we find our life’s  MEANING.  on hindsight, it’s not for me to judge what my mom did.  whether it was good or bad.  but it did gave my metamorphosis a deeper meaning in more vivd colors at that.

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it is never too late to find our own star within us.  and it is never too hard either.  we just need to  focus our eyes on the Lord, and our own individual light would start to shine.  so that others may also see the beauty that He bestowed on each of us.

sunlight

to love and to labor

“Let your life be free from  love of money, but be content with what you have, for he has said “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Thus we may say with confidence:

 

The Lord is my helper,

(and) I will not be afraid.

What can anyone do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6

 

CNN featured a story about a top advertising executive of a company who had lost his job and is now working as a a5d6bf9b313eef1abarista in Starbucks, quite a leap from the prestigious career he once had.  Aside from his age which is not the usual that we see in the coffee shop, his aura of joy and contentment when he sometimes mops the floor and clean the counters was really remarkable, considering he was not used to manual labor.  During the interview, I couldn’t help but admire his wisdom especially on how to get through these tough times.

 

He said something like: no one is really in control of what’s to happen, but we can all control our reaction to whatever situation we are in.   And when asked if he would accept a “half a million dollar a year” job offer again, he said no for the reason that he now found a full-time life with his part-time job.

 

for his complete inspiring story, go to:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/worklife/02/05/starbucks.saved.my.life/

 

cafdf0a262fb34701This is in contrast with the tragic story a week before that, about a father who killed his wife and all of his five children, before killing himself.  This happened after he and his wife lost their jobs one after the other.  Desperation and frustration might have driven him to end it all.  Whether it was to spare his family from a difficult life ahead, or to simply  spare himself from stretching his comfortable limits, we would never know.  But if only he had an encounter with the Starbuck’s guy and heard about how he coped, he and his family might still be alive.

 

for twenty years now, i have already been in and out of work, employed or otherwise, and by choice.  i have seen how different office environment works.  i have endured managers and co-workers with diverse personalities.  i have met people from all walks of life during a short stint with our  small business venture.  i have bridged generation gaps when i had the privilege to teach in our small town’s community college.  really i have a very colorful resume.  sadly, colors don’t have anything to do with success in terms of career.  numbers do.

 

now that the world is in chaos, the global economy in shambles and millions are losing their jobs, i am now beginning to see employment in a different perspective.  way back when there were choices to make, (although i give my more than hundred percent in whatever i do)  i see it as just a temporary occupation.  something else to do when my motherhood needs some diversion.  f60fb6d21fa7d698but now that job offers are scarce and life can be harsh without one, i am learning to value mine like a treasure.  aside from having a great boss, such nice guys to work with, and tasks that are custom-designed to my capabilities; my job now is such a blessing from heaven which the angels delivered when i am ready to harvest its fruits. in short, i am falling in love with work and overwhelmed by its importance.  not just in terms of money, but by the intricate design of destiny in which the Lord had painted me onto.  if only all of us shall see jobs as a privilege where we may serve God and be instruments of His peace and hope….and yes, love.

 

1_985790768l3during this month of  love, and now in this world of recession, i guess the best statement is “love means never having to say i resign”.