Saturday, November 20, 2010

Keep the Love Alive ♥

Courtship does not end in the altar of marriage. It should only be the beginning.

When was the last time you went out on a dinner date, just the two of you?

Most likely, if you have kids, and you’re working hard, going out on dates was a thing of the past. Besides, you always tell yourself the money could be used to pay for your bills.
Maybe you have a baby and you don’t have a baby sitter; or you simply don’t have enough time with all the work that needs to be done; maybe you’re too exhausted after having done all your laundry and house cleaning and cooking the whole day; or maybe you just don’t like nor see any significance of going out anymore.

You should be alarmed!

Second to money issues, couples who take their spouses for granted are more likely to end up unhappy, miserable, then separated or divorced. This is because there is truth in the saying that if one can “fall in love”, one can also “fall out of love”. Hence, if you want to “stay in love”, you better do something about it!

To keep love burning, married couples have to take their commitment to marriage seriously.


Make romance a part of your continuous courtship efforts.

Romance is a necessity and not a luxury, therefore it is essential to make romance a lifestyle. It can be fun and exciting, and just like all of the other aspects of marriage; it requires thoughtfulness, communication and attention from both parties involved.

1. A Romantic Picnic

Get to know each other all over again! And do it with style!

Use your imagination. Find an excuse to spend an evening together, just the two of you.
Stop by a grocery on your way home from work: buy some "chichirya", or a pack of hopia, or potato chips (be sure to include dips like mayonnaise or cheeze whiz ;D),or fruits if you like. Pizza would be okay too! Then, once you get home, light some scented candles, load up the DVD or Mp3 player with some great jazz or your favorite love songs. Spend the evening dancing or simply talking like you may not have in a long time.

2. Speak Love for 30 days (as a starter)

Send a different sexy, loving message each day.  Mix it up. Send a text message one day, call the next day.

3. Do Something New or Different Together

Once a week or as often as you like, do something else, do something new and different, anything, as long as you do it together. You may, for example, give each other a foot massage. Take an evening walk. Take turns doing it.
Or go on short vacations, just the two of you.

4. "How Do I Love Thee?" or Try "Why Do I Love Thee?"

Write each reason on a separate piece of paper. Put them in separate boxes and pull a different one each day, to brighten your day and remind you of your love for each other. You can secretly put these love notes in between his shirts, or on the table top for her as you leave to house for your office. Anywhere, as long as the element of surprise is there. It’ll surely bring a smile in your face, and will keep it there until he comes home from work.

5. Remember Letter's to Juliet? Never under estimate the power of a  Love Letter!

Write a love letter and share something you are really proud of your mate for. A few ideas you can write about are: an accomplishment, a selfless act of kindness, what you love the most and why. Ladies seal it with a kiss and a dash of his favorite perfume. Guys, a spritz of her favorite cologne will do.

6. Read Together

Turn off the TV, computer and phones. Take turns reading poetry or anything that interests you both. Just be sure it’s not about someone killing somebody, or something that would invite negative vibes. In short, make sure your reading materials are inspiring and will bring in happy thoughts and feelings.

7. Flower or Green Leafy Vegetables?

There's a joke that goes around married couples. Early on in the courtship, would-be boyfriends shower the lady love flowers of every color imaginable. After marriage, things change. Husbands would say: "let's buy vegetables instead"!

Of course this is just a joke. But hey! Inside every married woman, 17 to 99, is a lady and a girl ... who wants to feel she is special ... still.

So bring a different kind of flower home each day for 30 days. Trust me, it‘s not difficult.

What Makes a Mother a Mother?

I hope you're not confused with the question.

Really, what makes a mother a mother?

Oh, you carried each of your children in your womb for nine months, that makes you a mother all right!

You gave birth to all of them ... normal delivery!

Remember the pain when their heads "crowned"?

Or via CS, and you had to be careful for months because of your operation ...

Or you may be someone who did not literally nurture them in your womb
but nonetheless is a Mother to them in all other aspects ...

When they were small, you bathed them every single day,
until the time arrived when they could do it themselves.

Then all you had to do was prepare the towels and the change of clothing ... and pray that they rinsed their hair well, or that they scrubbed their elbows and knees and heels ...

You fed them every time they cry!

You either had to wash your "automatic baby bottle", if you know what i mean,

or you had to make sure that the bottles were sterilized ...

and the water was sterile ...

and the milk, that it's not too hot nor not cold ...
You had to hold the bottle while they sucked, which took a few minutes to an hour ...

sitting up so they won't choke

and watching and waiting till they're finished

so they won't suck in air

and suffer from colic pains.

You did this morning, noon, till night time
even when all the rest of the household are asleep;

Many times you find yourself alone in the house
carrying the baby everywhere
for you can't just leave him or her lying in your bed alone
while you try your best to do your chores at home
while he sleeps - which he does so irregularly ...

Remember the time call of nature came, and you just had to go?
You had to leave the door open so you can hear the baby ...

Day in and day out
you smell like sour cream or spoiled milk because you just did not have enough time
nor the motivation
to change your house dress into something more fashionable;
Who needs to be that trendy anyway? So you tell yourself!

You smell of "weweee" and of "pawis" and of "dul-ay" all mixed together.

As they grew older ...

It was normally you who stayed late when the children were sick ...

When they started to crawl ... and as they took their first steps ...

When they fell off the chair, or the table, or the bed, or the stairs ...

You cleaned wounds on knees and elbows

kissed them with your lips

whispered sweet assurances so your children will know
the pain will soon be gone...

You sang to them all sorts of songs, English or Visayan

written or invented (hah!)

You recited the alphabet with them ...

Told them stories - true and make-believe ...

Taught them how to fold their socks, how to tie their shoe laces, how to tuck in their shirts ...

You woke up early to prepare their breakfast, iron their uniforms, shine their shoes ...

Simultaneously while cleaning the house and preparing yourself
so you can bring them to school on time,

and wait for them outside their classrooms when they were in Nursery, Kinder 1, Kinder 2 ... 

Praying that they will participate ... cooperate ... and stay awake ... and not quarrel with their 


You took time to face teachers during Parent-Teacher Conferences ...

took in wholeheartedly reports of them misbehaving in school ...

of your boy reading his favorite book during classes;

or your daughter punching the class bully in his nose

(and you find yourself silently saying to yourself ...YES! that's, that's my girl!)

and a million other things you did (and still do even today)

... day in and day out ...

What makes a Mother a Mother?

All these and so much more ...

The sacrifices, the heartaches, the fears, the excitements, the worries, the anxieties ...

the joy, the happiness ...

and a million other things that make you as you are ...

Selfless ...

Sacrificing ...

Hoping ...

Praying ...

Who fed me from her gentle breast;

And hushed me in her arms to rest;

And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?

My Mother."

~Anne Taylor

♥Evelyn and Leila ♥

Crumpled White Shirts and the Priesthood ...

Young Men in White Shirts
Young Men in White Shirts

Two young men blessed the Sacrament; four young men passed it … seven priesthood leaders sat in front … and more than 30 men – fathers, brothers, ward leaders – together with almost 30 women, young and old - participated reverently in the special sacrament meeting aboard SuperFerry 20 that beautiful Sunday morning. 

What made the occasion very meaningful was the fact that all these men wore crumpled white shirts to attend to their priesthood duty – with honor and dignity.

I felt so blessed as I sat beside my daughters and my husband, as I looked at my son who was seated in front preparing to pass the sacrament. I could not help but feel a sense of joy knowing that he is growing up well. He knows who he is, his duties and responsibilities, and he has his Dad and his priesthood leaders who loves him dearly and who teaches him how to become the best that he can ever be.

I felt tears swell in my eyes as I looked around at the men who were either sitting or standing, all dignified looking, snappy in their Sunday clothes, despite the fact that their shirts and their pants all came from the bags crumpled and may be smelly after being used for two days. You see, we never expected to hold a special sacrament in the boat since we were supposed to arrive 7 hours earlier.

Nonetheless, all went well. 

It was a wonderful and very spiritual special sacrament.

Now I know ... that white shirts, even crumpled ones, can look immaculately pristine, when those who wear them stand dignified and honorable, knowing that they are doing the Lord’s work … at all times, and in all things, and in all places.

A Child's Prayer ...

This is a very beautiful story written by a doctor who worked in Central Africa…

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator). We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.

One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).

‘And it is our last hot water bottle!’ she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst waterbottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

‘All right,’ I said, ‘put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.’

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby.. I explained our problem about  keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. ‘Please, God’ she prayed, ‘Send us a hot water bottle today. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon..’

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity ofthe prayer, she added, ‘And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?’

As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say ‘Amen’? I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the porch was a large 22-pound parcel.

I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly… Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.

From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys.

Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the….. could it really be?

I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried… I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, ‘If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!

‘Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly.

Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!

Looking up at me, she asked, ‘Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?’

‘Of course,’ I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it ‘that afternoon’.

‘Before they call, I will answer.’ (Isaiah65:24)

After reading this, please say a prayer. Pray for someone who’s in need.

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.

There is no cost, but a lot of rewards.
Let’s continue praying for one another.

I know Heavenly Father lives …

I know He listens to all our prayers …

And I know He answers our prayers!


And, as it is written—Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive …