Support in the Little Things

Part of being married is supporting your husband’s decisions. While I personally don’t find it difficult to support my husband on the big things, I struggle when it comes to the little things. The incident I’m about to share is so trivial to the point that I didn’t even bring this up with my husband until now! Surprise, honey! 🙂 Haha!

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My husband and I are both work-from-home writers and we love what we do. Omar writes about superheroes and basketball. He’s very fortunate that he gets to write about the things he loves. 🙂 Sometime last month, I noticed that he was spending so much time writing about this article on the best Spider-Man costumes of all time.

There are ways to get articles done quickly. Most writers know that. I was surprised that he was spending hours on this one piece! He was getting paid per article. In my mind, I was computing that if he wrote 3 or 4 articles in that span of time that would’ve been more profitable, right?

At one point I even commented, “Hon, parang ang tagal mo ata sa article na yan.” (Hon, it seems like you’re spending a lot of time on that article.) I just couldn’t help it! Omar said that it was taking some time because he needed to research more and he was analyzing the best of the best.

I was tempted to suggest that he should stop doing it. My husband was creating an original article and not a curated one. When I say curated it’s more of a rewrite with a little bit of your opinion. Original articles take more time and effort obviously but he couldn’t ask for a higher rate for that.

I had the choice to either make a big deal out of it or just let him finish. I couldn’t remember exactly what I needed him to do but I needed his help that time either with our son or something else. But whatever it was, I knew it could wait. I could’ve insisted though that he drop what he was doing and attend to me. I had no doubt that he would but it would mean interrupting his momentum.

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I was overly concerned with him wasting time for an article that brought him minimal returns. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me shut up, literally. I asked Him to calm my heart and trust my husband that he knew what he was doing. Then God opened my eyes to something.

I saw that despite the challenge of writing that piece there was JOY in my husband’s eyes. I saw PASSION in what he was doing. His focus was different. He was really enjoying what he was writing! I may not understand why but I knew I should support him even for just a few hours (around 4-5 hours to be exact).

God assured me that letting my husband be was the best form of support I could give. That meant allowing him finish the article without disturbance, letting that concern wait, and leaving the results to Him (in terms of provisions). I couldn’t shake the feeling of dismay that Omar would’ve earned more by writing more articles in the span of time he supposedly “wasted” for that Spidey article.

When he posted the blog and shared it on social media, it generated more than 157,000 in reach and over 18,000 in post clicks (the actual number of people who actually clicked on the Facebook link and read the article)! The engagement in their Facebook page was unbelievable, too! His employer was so pleased with him! That blog has become one of their top performing articles to date.

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Best of all, my husband created a perennial article that could be reposted or refurbished anytime regardless of the trend. It’s a classic, so to speak. Fanboys of their site loved the article. It doesn’t matter if a fidgety wife didn’t get it. What mattered was, their target market were hooked on it. 🙂

And I couldn’t be prouder. 🙂 When I actually read it and saw his picks for the article, I was impressed! I became appreciative of the art and the stories that went along the creation of each Spider-Man costume. I saw how thrilled my husband was when he realized how quickly the fans were consuming his content. He saw the reach increase by the thousands in a matter of minutes!

I got excited about it, too! I planned to blog about this sooner but I got busy with other things and then this morning in my devotions about marriage I was reminded to be your husband’s biggest fan. I was brought back to that time when that article was published and realized that I had the chance to be in the front row seats, cheering for him when we were seeing the engagement that his article generated. 🙂

His success eventually led to his employer becoming confident again to invest in Facebook ads for his articles so they can get more traffic on the site. More traffic means more earnings for his employer and more stability for him and ultimately, for our family. In a volatile, fast-paced world of the web ENGAGEMENT is everything. Writing compelling articles that get people talking can give unprecedented traction for a website and that’s exactly what his article did. 🙂

He wouldn’t have achieved it if I gave in to my worries and asked him to stop doing it and go with something easier. I never thought that supporting him in that small thing and simply letting him be could result in something great. It took a lot of restraint on my part not to comment further when he was so engrossed in his writing.

It was only GOD’S GRACE that helped me that time. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says,”Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

Support through gentleness and being quiet was what my husband needed from me at that time. I’m extremely thankful that God gave me the grace to do so. He reminded me to trust in Him and trust the leader (my husband) He has given me. 🙂 If I didn’t allow the Lord to reign me in and hold my tongue, I would’ve missed out on that moment when my husband got the recognition he deserved from his employer and the people who make their business thrive. That seemingly small support I gave him, allowed me to witness one of the highlights in my Omar’s writing career. 🙂

More often than not, our husbands require us to support them on the trivial things. Those small increments of support when accumulated over time builds our husband’s confidence. It makes them bolder to take on risks and face challenges knowing that they have their wife by their side. My husband isn’t perfect and he makes mistakes but he knows that I, his biggest fan, will always cheer for him regardless. It’s not easy when you need to do it at that particular moment but when you’re looking at it in hindsight, God will make you realize that it’s worth it. 🙂

I know that I still fail and struggle in this area, hon. But I want you to know that I will always be your cheerleader. No amount of arthritis and gray hair will stop me from cheering for you. 🙂 I love you! 🙂

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A Letter to My Savior

Dear Jesus,

It’s Holy Week and I admit that it’s only around this time that I get to meditate on your crucifixion and resurrection. It doesn’t come naturally for me to recall what You’ve done. And for that I’m sorry. 😦 I know that a sacrifice like that deserves more than just a few days of recollection. It deserves a daily expression of gratitude. When I opened my Bible today, I asked You to highlight something for me about Your journey to Calvary and Luke 22:42-44 seemed to jump right out of the pages.

Luke 22:42-44 NIV

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

gethsemane

I tend to forget that You were as much human as we are when You came here on earth. You are both God and man. I admit that I have trivialized Your human side. The very thing that made us common, at least for a short while. Being human is hard, I can attest to that. I have never experienced a perfect life nor seen a perfect world the way Adam and Eve had. You know what it feels like to be pristine, pure, and perfect. Yet You chose to be dirty, filthy, and wretched like the rest of us.

I’ve had my own share of pain, suffering, and betrayal but not in the magnitude that You had Yours. Seeing what the future holds at that moment might have been a curse after all and not a blessing. You knew what You will go through. You could feel the stabbing betrayal of Your trusted friends, the seething pain of scourging, the tormenting anguish of being deserted by Your father, and the blinding darkness of death. You begged and cried for one last time for God to bail You out. Your plea was so intense that instead of beads of sweat, drops of blood fell on the ground.

portrait-of-jesus

Yet in that moment of bargaining, when You had every reason to give up, You yielded to Your Father’s will. You showed me that part of using Your free will is choosing to finish what You’ve started. It’s not about giving up in the middle of the battle. It’s about pressing on and going against fear, doubt, and hopelessness. It’s about seeing the victory at the end and not letting the blood and bruises stop You from fighting.

And You were fighting for us. You were fighting for me. You were thinking about my name and my future with You. You knew that if You walk away, we will be lost for good. Hope will never be a part of our vocabulary. We will never see the sense in saying “things will be better” because it will never be. It was a make or break negotiation for You. You had the option to impose Your will and say, “I can’t.” But You didn’t. You resolved in Your heart that You’d do it regardless.

Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for not giving up on mankind. Thank You for dying for us. Thank You for defeating death by coming back to life. Thank You for showing us that we have victory over sin and death because You did it for us. The cross and the empty tomb remind us that we are forgiven and redeemed. Your triumph gives us confidence that we can surpass anything because You’re alive and You’re with us.

stained glass heart

I may not say it that much but I want You to know that I’m very grateful for Your sacrifice. I know I’m one of Your far too many delinquent children and I’m humbled and up to now still baffled by Your encompassing love. Thank You for Your grace that never ends. Thank You that I can face each day full of hope because of who You are and what You’ve done. Thank You that You love with no questions nor limitations. And most of all thank You for giving Your life for me even if I don’t deserve it.

I love You, Jesus. I may have failed You so many times but this frail human being before You loves You with all her broken pieces. By Your blood You have restored all my shards, making a beautiful stained glass depicting a portrait of a redeemed life. Thank You, Jesus, for being my Savior, my Lord, and my everything. 🙂

Your Child,
Ivy

 

I married a super hero, not a prince charming

Growing up, I totally skipped Barbie, Disney Princess, and other girly fairy tales. I was just not interested in them. I remember that my most loved tales were The Little Red Riding Hood, The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Three Little Pigs. Haha! I found Snow White and company cute but not as interesting as the stories I mentioned earlier. I jumped into the happily ever after and prince charming bandwagon when I was in Grade 5 or 6. Still, I didn’t find the idea of having a prince charming so charming. I didn’t wear a tiara when I was young except for one school parade when I had no choice.

Hero in waiting :)

Hero in waiting 🙂

Judging from the tales I liked back then, I realized that if I’d be in a fairy tale I would probably end up being an adventurous yet accident-prone female character who still needs saving. I would definitely not be a damsel in distress nor would I want a pretty prince charming coming to my rescue with his pearly white teeth. My fairy tale would probably involve an unconventional super hero who will sweep me off my feet with his otherworldly abilities. Lo and behold, I was given one. 🙂

The fanboy and the girlfriend :)

The fanboy 🙂

When I first met Omar, I knew that he was more than just a pretty face. Yes, he was and still is prince charming-esque but it was his character that made him more attractive. He was the authentic Mr. Nice Guy with the word KIND tattooed on his forehead. Everybody knew that Omar was dependable and responsible. He was very much like “Superman” in that sense. 🙂

With my Man of Steel :)

With my Man of Steel 🙂

He also treated everyone equally so it was very hard to determine if he liked you or not. I guess he knew that about himself so when he took me out on our first date he immediately told me his intentions! He dropped the words commitment, marriage, and love that caught me off guard in a blissful kind of way. 🙂 That bold move made all the difference because he unknowingly addressed my fear of being misled. I knew that it took a lot of courage for him to say that. He took the risk of “going too fast” with confidence and determination, fully aware that he could stand by what he said.

We're engaged! :)

We’re engaged! 🙂

To cut the short story even shorter, we became a couple two months after that first date, got engaged four months after, and eventually tied the knot seven months later. 🙂 He is pretty much identical to “Flash” in terms of the way he led and steered our relationship to marriage. 🙂

Mr. and Mrs. Guerrero! :)

Mr. and Mrs. Guerrero! 🙂

We also became parents early with our honeymoon baby, Timmy! 🙂 As a husband and father-to-be, Omar balanced his leadership and nurturing role to his preggy wifey. I had a complicated pregnancy and Omar never left my side through it all. When Timmy was born, he took the role of fatherhood with fun and focus. 🙂 I adore seeing him play with our baby, change Timmy’s nappies, and accomplish other daddy duties. He made career and ministry decisions that showed how he is prioritizing us more than anything. For me, he was and still is like a married version of “Captain America,” a great leader, planner, and undeniably selfless.

My superhero boys!

My superhero boys!

Our marriage is not perfect.  We have miscommunication issues every now and then. Voice tone misinterpretations also come up once in a while. Overall, I can say that we live by the 80/20 principle. It’s all good 80% of the time. The other 20% comprise the minor arguments, long talks over unresolved issues, and gentle rebukes that help us both become better spouses to each other.

I am so grateful that our marriage is boring (in a good way). 🙂 It is drama-free with no roller coaster mood swings and stress-free with no unreasonable demands. It is a great blessing to be married with Omar who is also peace-loving like me. God knew I could not bear the stress of being with someone who thrives on arguments. Haha!

Valentine's Day date :)

Valentine’s Day date 🙂

Today we celebrate our 1,095 days of being married. 🙂 Three years may seem like a short time but the trials we’ve been through made it look like we have a thirty-year-old marriage. Haha! My recent health bout with Ischemia made this anniversary even more precious. God made us more appreciative with every waking day we share together. Seeing how my husband took care of me and Timmy while doing most of the chores at home while I was sick is like seeing God’s love in action. This is what a super hero husband is—someone who knows what to do at the most crucial time, keeps his calm in the midst of a raging storm, depends on Someone greater than he is, and gives his everything without questioning so much what is left of him.

Honey with his superhero cake :)

Honey with his superhero cake for his 40th birthday 🙂

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MY SUPER OMAR! Human language is not enough to express my appreciation and love for you! You are God’s sweetest blessing to me! I am humbled and privileged to be your wife. My heart is full of thanksgiving to our great God who gives us nothing but the BEST. You are my BEST FRIEND and the no question, hands down the BEST HUSBAND in the world. 🙂 I look forward to more years with you, inclusive of a lifetime buffet of laughter, long walks, movie and series marathons, NBA finals, reading and praying together, family bonding, homeschooling and parenting, lazy afternoons, shopping and window shopping, casual conversations, irrational jokes, sweet surprises, and overdose of hugs and kisses—till we’re both wrinkly and gray. 🙂 I love you, my super hero husband! Happy Anniversary!!! 🙂

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I LOVE YOU!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I LOVE YOU!

When Men Become Event Planners

I think my opinion about Valentine’s Day is a bit schizophrenic. There are times when I think VDAY is such a great occasion to celebrate one’s love for another person. There are days when I feel it is overrated. Nonetheless, I still look forward to this day every single year. 🙂 When I was still single, I love celebrating Valentine’s Day with my parents and girlfriends. When I got married, this occasion became magnified a million times because my husband is a true blue romantic. 🙂

My romantic hubby :)

My romantic hubby 🙂

To give you a quick background, we are blessed to have neighbors who are also young couples like us. The ages of our kids are not from each other. Reiner and Melissa have two pretty daughters ages two and three. Kelvin and Lara have an adorable baby boy who is turning one soon while Omar and I have our two-year-old Timmy. 🙂 This year, the boys decided to give us a surprise Valentine’s Day treat! We really had no idea what they were planning to do. Everything was kept under wraps with an intense brainstorming meeting that lasted for hours.

Our wonderful neighbors! :)

Our wonderful neighbors! 🙂

Truth be told, I was getting concerned already because my hubby had been sleeping late almost the entire week. On February 13, I woke up around 2:30 a.m. to feed Timmy only to find out that Omar was still doing highly classified stuff downstairs! Well, I didn’t peek or anything. I just assumed that it was something related to the surprise.

The big day has finally arrived! On a side note, I believe that Valentine’s Day is the only day in the year when pinks and reds rule and I love it. Haha! Going back, I woke up earlier than my boys as always. Not long after, Omar woke up and surprised me with a big box wrapped in red. It was heavy! I had a hunch on what the content was but I also had another guess in mind. Much to my delight, I was right! It was a bunch of chocolates! 🙂

Chocolates from my honey! :) Actually, the card was the sweetest of all. :)

Chocolates from my honey! Actually, the card was the sweetest of all. 🙂

In fact, I even got more before our lunch date! When I saw it, I knew I died and went to MINT heaven. 🙂

Mint Mania! Plus more chocolate madness! :)

Mint Mania! Plus more chocolate madness! 🙂

Wives, here’s an example of a husband who listens and knows what you want. 🙂 Last year, I told Omar that I’m not really a flowers person. I like flowers and I think they’re pretty. But I don’t get that much satisfaction staring at them. So I told him not to spend on flowers. Besides, they wither too fast and it makes me sad that I don’t get to preserve them for months. I told him I’d be happier to receive chocolates. Poor hubby, he had to cancel his flower reservation but that didn’t stop him. He instead brought me to sweet tooth nirvana by giving me my love day chocolate loot that year. 🙂

Guess what? He remembered it this year! Good job, honey! 🙂 You made my taste buds do cartwheels again! In addition, he still bought me a beautiful pink rose. He is such a sweetheart. 🙂

Three books from hubby! (pre-Valentine gift!) :)

Three books from hubby! (pre-Valentine gift!) 🙂

I just have to say this. My husband is the most thoughtful man in the planet, seriously. Prior to this, I already got my Valentine’s gift. When he saw me gushing over the three books you just saw, he immediately told me that he would get it for me already as his Valentine’s Day present. How thoughtful is that?! 🙂 I felt that the three books spelled I LOVE YOU. 🙂 You could just imagine my surprise when I got more presents on the actual VDAY itself! Honey, you are awesome. 🙂

Okay, around 4:00 p.m. we were at home and I received specific instructions that I was not allowed to go down. Timmy and I stayed in our room until we got the go signal from the event planners that we’re good to go. My hubby was so funny. When we were at the grocery earlier, he told me not to go where he was because he was buying stuff for the surprise. Then he called me asking for advice on where he could get pink tissue. Haha! He had some stuff exchanged because he found a better one but told me not to look at the direction he was going. It was really fun watching him! 🙂

So around 5:30 p.m. Omar asked for my help to look for my punchers. I’m a scrapbooker so I have lots. I found it so cute that they were actually using my girly punchers! He even asked me for pink papers! Good thing I still have some in stock. 🙂 Oh, the perks of being a scrapbooker! Haha! I was itching to help them because I loooove crafting but I know I should leave it to the boys to do their thing. 🙂 And boy did they do a great job. Unbelievable!

Our husbands' masterpiece! :)

Our husbands’ masterpiece!

Around 7:00 p.m., hubby called me to say that I need to wear something white. By 7:30 p.m. we were ushered to our neighbor’s house which was transformed into a whimsical place filled with pinks and reds—flowers, hearts, balloons, and every cute detail you could imagine. My heart literally leaped when I entered the house. I immediately saw the labor of love of our husbands in giving us the ultimate Valentine surprise. 🙂 They even covered the light with pink cellophane to set the mood! Isn’t that brilliant?! 🙂

Labor of Love!!! :)

Labor of Love!!!

The food was ready, the table was set beautifully, there were red and pink M&Ms on pink plates, printed tissues were in place, heart-shaped candles were lighted, a wall of hearts with sweet messages were mounted on the wall, everything was just PERFECT! My heart just melted and I’m sure Melissa and Lara felt the same way, too. 🙂 I never thought that they could pull off something beautiful like that! I was floored, speechless, and totally overwhelmed. 🙂

Love is in the details! :)

Love is in the details! Those flowers are soft soaps!

Before we ate dinner, the wives eagerly documented all the details of the party. Haha! We were excited to show to the world the great effort our husbands had put into this amazing surprise. 🙂 Everyone enjoyed the Japanese-themed dinner. The kids seemed to cooperate, too! They behaved well that night! 🙂 Good job, kiddos! 🙂 We then played the “find your husband’s message” game and we ended up having lots of sweet messages of appreciation from our hubbies! 🙂

Heartwarming messages from our hubbies! Omar even beautifully set up my own set with balloons! :)

Heartwarming messages from our men! Omar even beautifully placed my own set at home with balloons!

We were then serenaded by our hubbies with three or four songs. They are not professional singers, but they really looked like balladeers that night. Haha! 🙂 Forget about pitchy parts, what they did for us that night completely overshadowed those singing shortcomings. Haha! We then played intense Guesstures and yes, as expected the wives won. 🙂 I’m sure the boys are itching for a rematch. Haha!

Our awesome husbands! :)

Our awesome husbands! 🙂

The night ended on a high note, with everyone smiling and the wives with eyes twinkling. 🙂 I was and still am super kilig (no English equivalent to match this feeling!) to the max galore with the whole experience. 🙂

Just when I thought the night was completely over, I got Valentine’s coupons from my hubby!!! 🙂 I am soooo ready to redeem them. Haha!

The love fest continues with love coupons! :)

The love fest continues with love coupons!

A big thank you to our hubbies for pulling off this surprise! We now see a new career path for the three of you. Haha!

And of course, THANK YOU SO MUCH MY HONEY OMAR! You just won my heart a million times over yet again. 🙂 God showed me His overflowing love once again through you. I LOVE YOU, I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU, AND I AM COMMITTED TO FOREVER LOVE YOU!!! 🙂

My lover and best friend :)

My lover and best friend 🙂

The Giver and the Gift

People all over the world are celebrating the most wonderful time of the year. I admit presents are one of the things about Christmas that gives me the holiday cheer. I get a sense of fulfillment ticking off names of the people I’ve already bought gifts for. I love wrapping presents, distributing them, and of course receiving them! Haha!

Gifts

Gifts

As much as Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, it is also the busiest in my book. The malls are crowded, traffic is horrific, parties overlap, and everybody’s rushing to get their holiday shopping over and done with. It is a holiday that is not as leisurely as summer vacations nor as meditative as Holy Week. Christmas is crazy and wild with celebrations and get-togethers. Houses are filled with laughter and conversations with reunions happening simultaneously. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to celebrate Christmas and it always goes by oh so fast.

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping

After the food is gone, the decors are down, and the parties are over, we all go back to our daily routines. We eventually realize that we never fully grasped Christmas and we hope that next year Christmas will go a little bit slower than usual so we can savor it longer. All the holiday hustle and bustle got me thinking on how I can slow things a bit this Christmas. Hence, this blog.

The nativity scene

The nativity scene

As I do my own reflection on Christmas, I am reminded that this holiday is festive and full of love only because of Christ. Take out His name and there’s no reason to celebrate Christ-mas. In reality, the birth of Christ was nothing but a joy-filled, stress-free event. In the most defining moment of mankind’s history, there were no parties nor people hurrying around shopping for gifts. When Christ was born, there was total peace yet there was a complete celebration in the hearts of those who witnessed it.

Christmas begins with Christ

I can only imagine the joy and awe that filled the heart of Joseph and Mary when they finally saw Him, their Son and Savior. What a great honor it must’ve been to be Jesus’ surrogate parents! Imagine being chosen to bear the next King of England or the next President of the United States. Just thinking about the huge responsibility and scrutiny that goes along with it makes me queasy. In addition, this soon-to-be prominent leader in your womb would surely receive the grandest and most high profile welcome from the world, televised 24/7.

Nativity Scene

Nativity Scene

But Jesus is different. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords born in a lowly stable. To even call it low profile would be an understatement. The nativity scene, which we now use as a perennial Christmas decor, was a simple gathering of people from all walks of life rejoicing in the presence of the perfect, blameless, pure, and most holy Newborn they’d ever seen. The shepherds and the Magi were overjoyed at the sight of Christ, praising and worshiping God for sending the Savior of the world. They already found the gift they’ve been looking and waiting for. The Giver and the Gift came with no trumpets resounding, no commotion, and no social media coverage. Yet His birth reached every corner of the world and is celebrated yearly for thousands of years.

Jesus in a manger

Jesus in a manger

In that humble manger, Jesus showed how accessible He was from the very start. No mediator needed, no VIP access, anyone can approach Him anytime. His birth was already an invitation for all of us. Later on, Jesus would show even more how accessible He is by initiating contact with people that are considered outcasts by society. He taught and fed multitudes. He healed the sick regardless if he’s a friend like Lazarus or a servant of a Roman soldier. Discrimination was never in Jesus’ vocabulary. He accepted all kinds of people. When He died on the cross to reconcile mankind to God, He did it for everyone. He knew that no one is sinless and no one will be good enough to reach God. Only a perfect holy sacrifice will suffice for a perfect holy God.

The Giver and the Gift

The Giver and the Gift

Christmas is not simply about Jesus the baby being born. It’s about Jesus the Savior opening His arms to all of us. In the same way, Christmas is also a good time for us to open our hearts to Him, to think about His abounding love, to thank Him for everything He has done for us, and to honor Him in our celebration of Christmas. Let us spend one unhurried moment with our Savior this Christmas, praising and thanking Him for being the reason for the season. Let us savor a moment with Jesus and celebrate His love by sharing His love not only today but also every single day He has blessed us with. 🙂

Jesus

The Controversial Christian

When someone says he or she is a Christian, it can elicit two reactions from people—either they back off knowing that you will spit something judgmental about them or they will be drawn to you because they know you won’t judge them, instead you will love them.

Lately I’ve been reading the book UnChristian and listening to the podcast of Andy Stanley’s series entitled Christian. So you see I’ve been bombarded with truth that cut so deep it made my heart so heavy with undeniable realities. I had to go back and look at the life of Jesus, the one true authentic model for Christians. I realized that if so-called Christians lived the way Jesus lived and loved the way Jesus loved things would’ve turned out differently.

Jesus loved the “taboo” people. His love was radical back then when He dined with the hated tax collectors. His love was scandalous when He graciously dealt with the woman caught in adultery. He was what you would call a controversial Christian. If He lived in the 20th century, He would dine with corrupt government officials, talk with the young prostitute on the street, and listen to the misunderstood homosexual. Jesus would not fear being seen with them because He only had one thing in mind—He loved them.

I was won over to Christianity because of love. Someone showed extraordinary judgment-free love to me. I didn’t become a Christian because a person told me that I’ll burn in hell. In fact, I would never even consider being one if that was the selling point. I came face to face with a loving Savior who assured me that He loves me, He knows ALL my sins but doesn’t judge me, He forgives me, and He wants me to be reconciled with Him. The love that Jesus offers is so outrageous that I couldn’t help but say YES, I ACCEPT YOUR LOVE AND I WANT TO FOLLOW YOU.

Being a Christian is simply being a follower of Jesus. In fact, being a Christian was a derogatory term during the time of the disciples. It was a term used by non-Jesus followers to call the Jesus followers. It’s like calling someone nigger instead of saying he’s African-American. Jesus called His followers DISCIPLES. When you’re a disciple, you follow what your teacher or master tells you. It’s like for your every move, you will consult Him. For example, if someone betrays you, you will ask Jesus what He would do and you’ll do it. It will be like that for every situation.

Imagine how things will change if Christians stopped being mere Christians and become authentic disciples of Jesus Christ. There is only one distinguishing mark that people will recognize when a person is a follower of Jesus. With emphasis Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Our love should be so out of this world that people from the outside couldn’t help but be drawn and take a peek at what’s going on in our families and communities. Our love should be so welcoming that people don’t feel ashamed to ask for advice because they know you’ll speak the truth in love.

It was the revolutionary love of Jesus that overthrew the worship of power tripping Greek and Roman gods. In Jesus, people knew a God who loves, accepts, and reaches out. His love was beautifully controversial and 1st century disciples exhibited that. Believers of Jesus grew by the thousands each day during that time. The way they loved each other, cared for the sick, assisted the widows and orphans, restored the lost back to Jesus were astounding. His love was the most sensational news the world has ever known and it is only by this kind of love that all Christians should be known for.

My desire for all professing Christians, including myself is that we’ll be known for how we love and not for how we hate. Christians are often known to be against something instead of being for something. Jesus’ raw pure love should be the standard we all follow. If I’ll be known as a Christian I want to be the radical, scandalous, controversial one—much like my Master and Savior.

At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet

Just thought of sharing my favorite sonnets and verses on love. As Plato aptly puts it, “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.” 🙂

SONNET 116
By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13
Written by the apostle Paul

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

How do I Love Thee…Let me Count the Ways
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

**This post is for my husband Omar Josef Guerrero, the love of my life. 🙂 HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, HONEY! I guess the image below says it all. :)**