An Afternoon Delight

Sometimes we get wind up with the daily humdrum of things – waking up , managing the household, off to day job, back to home sweet home. Not that I am complaining, I am indeed thankful that my hands are full. In these times, i get to meet different lives with different personalities. My facetime with these people are much more appreciated! Social media has allowed us to be connected to a lot of people in a seemingly unimaginable way ( like how my blog has brought me to you! ) but it doesn’t give us the “soulful” connection that can only be achieved in real face-to-face conversations, a gentle touch, a shoulder to cry on and a merry hymn of laughter that can fill an otherwise boring, empty room!

Recently, I get to bond with my cousins whom I shared the most wonderful childhood moments with. Times when technology was still a luxury, memories were built “intentionally” – like when you schedule a vacation, it has to be carefully planned as there was not yet a travel agency that takes care of your logistical needs, no cellphones and internet that allow you to say “hey, i got stuck in the traffic – will just follow you there” , so that makes you to be there on time, on the dot, lest you will be left behind. Like those times, this reunion was intentional. And I think, we always have to be intentional with our relationships. Intentional in deciding that we meet, in letting people know that we care for each other because we care enough to see them. And dish away that idea that we are just a text or phone call away. (Of course, if  distance is a hindrance, the calls, emails and sms pretty much make up for it!)

Reunions need not be grand.  That day, it was just coffee, them, and I (and yes, with a muffin and lemon square in between!).  Take time out to nurture those relationships. Not a moment is wasted.

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Me and my cousins enjoying an afternoon coffee! (thanks, Cookie ,for this pic!)

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What’s Your Weather Report?

Being a working wife and mom doesn’t mean I am a “superwoman”. Like a normal human being, I also struggle with time management – especially that we do not have a control of what’s going on in our husband and /or children’s daily activities.  Keeping tab of all of them is no mean feat. Yes I can be so detailed in most things but marriage and motherhood has allowed and trained me to be more flexible in some and to be more accepting in those that I cannot deal with. The better word to describe it is GRACE.  The moment it steps in your doorstep, peace of mind and peace at home reign!

I recently read a book that talks about (among many others) the “weather conditions” in our homes. As  wives and/or moms, we can either make “torrential storms or tropical breezes” as the climate in our homes.  Most of our “storms” at home start when there is a mess on the floor, books are all over the place, food stains are in the couches and , yes, stickers are on the walls (especially if you have toddlers! i am glad we’re over that stage!), an angry look from your spouse or a petty fight, etc..  Chaos is not hard to describe.  Yes, good housekeeping skills and time management are commendable, so is an able and trustworthy house helper or nanny to keep everyone’s sanity.  Outside circumstances are fast to control us – either we buy in or bust out!  Perhaps the easiest way to be out of the muddle is to fire away those words.  So instead of calming the storms, we are creating stronger, torrential ones!  And nobody loves that! So today, start changing the climate in your home.. and deliberately make room for the sunshine to burst in every corner. Feel the warmth, enjoy the fresh air – let it be that the “tropical breeze” is near… And mind you, you’ll be a whole lot happier and healthier!

Photo Our Homes

photo credit : treasurecoastflrealestate.com

On my knees, at His feet

It has been a long while. Admittedly, I missed blogging. I keep a long-hand journal ( I love it this way as I write down my thoughts carefully, my thoughts not “overtaking” each one, which is not the same as typing my thoughts away in the keyboard! ), but I also missed the clicking sound of the keys! And so this next chapter goes …

As this blog is aptly titled, life has its ups and downs, whirlwinds and stopovers and whatever else that make it ever-challenging but always remarkably beautiful. I had a series of those in these past months. Summer break’s over, adjusting to a new school environment for my two adorable graders, hubby off to grad studies armed with a rekindled passion for a long-time calling, a close relative and a dear friend battling the now, highly curable C (knowing these 2 beautiful people –inside and out – it’s not as deadly as it may sound! I realized, there are a whole lot more decays in our thoughts than what consumes our weak bodies!), new top management in the workplace, family business challenges going uphill … whew! No mighty man ( or woman in my case  ) can ever survive those! AND that’s when GRACE steps in – and we do not fret because God’s grace operates 24/7!

Whenever I am in this “fretful” situation, I am always reminded that my life is just His single breath ( or what I described to my 6-yo son ; only a “HA”! moment with God) and I am finite with only 24 hours each day, relying on an infinite source of strength . With these truths, I am deeply convinced that to be able to overcome these temporary ups and downs, whirlwinds and stopovers, I should always be on my knees, offering everything at Jesus’ feet…

“ He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love. “ Psalm 147: 10-11 (NLT)

JJAMPPONG on my Mind

I  have always wanted to cook.   The Rachael Ray type or perhaps Giada de Laurentiis ( whom for a while I thought i most likely resemble, until i woke up from a lovely dream!) – never have followed recipes to a T but always enjoyed a pinch or a dash of something this and that.  Lately, with the cool weather and occasional rains even if we’re expecting summer soon in our place,  I had Jjamppong ( a spicy Koren soup) on my mind.  I decided to dish out the styro-packed soup of a local brand and googled for something that’s really authentic and home-made.  Alas , i found one  !  This website is very educational, complete with a step-by-step video.  A rookie would surely love it.

photo from maangchi.com

I had all the ingredients on hand so i whisked off and prepare the hot dish.  Had the chili pepper bottle on table just to make sure my kids can enjoy a bowlful sans the spicy taste.  And viola! my own version of Jjamppong didn’t disappoint! It surely warmed the tummies, and more importantly , it warmed the hearts ~ the family loved it!